Natural Landscaping and Harsh Municipal Code Realities

Our travails continue with the head-on collision of our aesthetics and the Village Council. Read this blog post to discover more about how personal opinion tries to trump Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms.

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.

How to Relocate Spiders

Spiders are beneficial arachnids, meaning they have eight legs. They can be found in or near a home. Relocating spiders to a more appropriate place is a much wiser idea than killing them when they're in our way.

Encounters with Coyotes in the Past and Present

Coyotes live among us just as they have with our Native Peoples in the past. But unlike our Native Peoples understanding and respect of coyotes, our present day culture has little knowledge, and this greatly takes away from all the positive experiences we can have with America’s wild canine.

Coyote and Fox and Mesopredator Release

What changes a predator’s relationship with your farm? Relationships are two-sided, and human behavior has much to do with our relationships with predators. Here are two real-life stories about just that.

Slug Wars: Slug Control for Organic Gardens

Slugs can do a good amount of damage in the garden and quickly! Here are different methods to combat them in ways that are safe for you, your family, and the environment.

Finding Solace in the Garden

A day full of learning and fun created the perfect respite to my recent turmoil about lawn ordinances and greater world tragedies. There are so many friends and animal family that I have yet to discover—I will hold onto this day as a lovely treasure of proof that there are people who understand and walk similar paths.

The Grasses are Alive and Teeming with Wildlife

Meet some of our outdoor family members as I work to comply with the lawn ordinances being forced upon us. Hopefully, more of them are still alive and are adapting to something more akin to cave dwelling than open-forested lands.

Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History

An understanding our human history teaches us much about our present day perspectives and our behaviors that manifest those perspectives. We can observe this in all facets of our human society, and it is most poignantly made aware to us in Dan Flores’ newly published book, Coyote America: A Natural and Supernatural History. Read on!

Tracking Natural Events on the Homestead

Observing and recording natural events on your homestead offers many benefits, from sharpening your skills to developing data that help you understand natural patterns which influence your surroundings. Developing an organized approach to documenting and sharing your observations can be especially beneficial, creating a resource that’s useful to you and others.

How to Stretch a Hat using an Inflatable Ball

Hats are useful to keep damaging UV rays away from sensitive head and neck areas. They protect kids from the sun and wind as they play. But what if your favorite hat is just too small? Here is useful hack for stretching a hat using an inflatable ball.

Cougars Return to Their Homeland

Cougars, our American lion, historically have been the most widespread large carnivore of both North and South America. After being almost systematically annihilated from our continent by those who came before us, our big cat is making heroic attempts to return to their lost homeland. Will we let them?

The Airborne Bestiary

When we think of the atmosphere, we might assume it is mostly a lifeless place. Boy, are we wrong.

Can I Hatch an Egg I Found?

Springtime is egg season, and often wild bird eggs are found unattended, either in nests or simply lying on the ground. What is the best course of action when you find an egg? Find out here!

Off-Grid and Free: Living With Wolves and Remote Communications

They're back. The wolves. During breakfast one morning this past week, we heard a chorus of howling. Racing down to the shoreline, we saw 3 wolves in the center of the lake about a mile away. The wolves are a symbol of our wilderness location. Learn how we live with them and stay in touch with civilization.

Ethical Questions in a Carrot Bed

When the performing of regular garden chores presents you with ethical or moral dilemmas, what is your normal course of action? Do you think about the wildlife surrounding you? Read here to find out who was hiding in Blythe’s carrot bed and what she decided to do.

A Murmuration of Starlings

An examination of flocking behavior in starlings and the beauty and mystery we see when those flocks, or “murmurations” are extraordinarily large and active. Also an inquiry into the 500-year-old history of collective nouns for groups of animals.

Create a Wildlife Condominium in Your Own Backyard

Building your own wildlife habitat in the style of a brush pile can be fun and easy. It can also help with several problems at once—where to dispose of clippings and branches, how to provide shelter for wildlife, and how to lower our carbon footprint are all solved in this one simple addition to your garden.

This Stuff is for the Birds

Creating a friendly environment for wild birds on your property can help them and provide for hours of viewing opportunities for you.

Best Kinds of Bird Food to Put Out This Winter

Putting out food for the wild birds in your area will help them get the nutrition they need to thrive through the cold months. Avian nutrition means much more than tossing out a few seeds. If you’re not sure what to put on your wild bird grocery shopping list, check out this list to get started.

Reflections on Bear Hibernation and Behavior

Since moving to the mountains of Southern Colorado, we have encountered many black bears and because of those encounters, we have learned much about the species. I find it incredible that bears and other smaller critters can hibernate. Our winters are sometimes 7+ months long and for any animal to put itself into a dormant state for that long is simply amazing. Read more insights into how bear hibernation works.

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!

Simple Lifestyle with Nature's Animals

More than 20 years ago, we made the decision to live a more simple life. Living in the big city, we had accumulated many possessions that had, at best, limited function. When we decided on a more uncluttered and simple lifestyle, we called an auctioneer and had him auction off the majority of our possessions. When we moved to our small cabin in the mountains we were immersed in nature.

Coyote: A Keystone Carnivore

Every member of an ecosystem community needs to be present in order to keep your land healthy and vibrant. That includes the carnivores - both terrestrial and avian. But one carnivore affects that ecosystem community more than the others: the keystone carnivore. And Coyotes play the role of the keystone carnivore in many of the landscapes of North America.

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.

Black Bear Encounters

In our many encounters with black bears, we have had no serious incidents. Achieve harmony living in bear territory by staying calm and giving bears favorable distance.

Seeing the Forest for the Deer

Deer are unique in that they are often managed regardless of habitat quality. When ecology and grazers are out of balance, impacts on forest health and herd health can be severe.

Our Native Carnivores: A Historical Perspective

As a conservation biologist whose focus is large carnivores, I find that historical perspectives regarding our understanding of our place within Earth’s communities and the behavior that flows from those perspectives is essential to understanding our present day relationship with carnivores. In my first post, I want to take you back in history, sharing with you worldviews and the actions that expressed those views, as Europeans settled on the American continent.

Fibromatosis in Wild Deer

We had a visit from a deer that looked to be in bad condition and the result was fibromatosis, a non-life-threatening skin condition afflicting mostly young male deer.

PBS Program Chronicles Sage Grouse and Other Inhabitants of the Sagebrush Sea

WNET Thirteen’s new Nature episode, “The Sagebrush Sea,” tracks the Greater Sage Grouse and other wildlife through the seasons as they struggle to survive in a rugged and changing landscape. The program airs Wednesday, May 20, at 8 p.m. (ET) on PBS (check local listings) and will be available for streaming after the broadcast on the PBS website.

Help Your Trees By Burning Firewood

Those who garden know that weeding is often essential to growing good vegetables or fruits. In a forest, sunlight too is a limiting factor. By knowing which tree to cut and which to leave, forest health can be improved. Cutting for firewood can serve as an incentive to "weed" on the ultra-perennial scale.

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.

Sustainable Timber Management for Homesteaders

Managing timbered property can benefit your wildlife and your pocketbook, but beware! Timber buyers are often con-artists. Learn the questions you should be asking about sustainable timber management on your property or homestead.

Planning Yard Projects for Next Year? Begin With a YardMap

The YardMap Network is a citizen science project designed to cultivate a richer understanding of bird habitat, for both people concerned with their local environments and professional scientists. The program is housed at the Lab of Ornithology, in Ithaca, New York. We collect data by asking individuals across the country to draw maps of their backyards, parks, farms, favorite birding locations, schools, and gardens.

U.S. Deer Herds in Trouble

Warmer weather proliferated the rise of a viral infection in deer dubbed Episodic Hemorrhagic Disease (EHD), carried by a tiny biting fly called a midge. Unfortunately, individual state deer management, once based in science, has now grown to be political. Influenced by farm agency and insurance company lobbyists, legislators regularly appoint natural resources directors who are not faithful guardians of wildlife.

The Dangers of Sitting Too Long

Anyone who spends prolonged periods of time sitting, regardless of their overall activity level, is at risk for the dangers associated with sedentary lifestyles.

Relocating Wild Animals

If you’re considering taking measures to control wildlife in your area by relocating wild animals, you may want to think twice. Start by learning about what happens to wild animals after they’re trapped and released in a new location.

Audubon Christmas Bird Count

Participate in Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count to help scientists study winter bird populations: www.earthgauge.net/?p=33409

Eyes on Central Pennsylvania Wildlife

WTAJ has partnered with the National Environmental Education Foundation and Project Noah to help show wildlife and the impacts of weather on living things in Central Pennsylvania.

I Want to Die

After Publisher and Editorial Director Bryan Welch decided that death might be a personal choice, he was struck by the heroic potential in making mortality a conscious decision. As we are increasingly able to lengthen our lives and perpetuate our health, the notion of death is transformed. Death is our ultimate opportunity to consciously give back.

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.

Why We Farm

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

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.

Deer Whisperer

While far-fetched, this is an absolute wildlife true story. Maybe it's coincidence, but I don't think so because I was looking into those warm friendly brown eyes.

Walking Home

Making the most of a winter walk to home.

The Ozarks Natural Beauty

Discover the Ozarks region's natural beauty and adventure hot spots as told by Mike McArthy of Photozarks.

New Year's Revolution: Putting Your Life into Perspective

Many of us make a habit out of complaining, when in fact our lives are pretty good. In this blog I suggest that gaining perspective -- focusing on how good your life really is -- will help you live a much happier life. Give it a try.

Walking Water

We haul our water from the river - walking water!

New Year's Revolution: Give Compliments! Freely!

In this New Year, my first recommendation for personal transformation is to give compliments generously to those who grace your life. You'll brighten the lives of others and your own life enormously.

Our Little House

The thrill continues living in our handmade house.

Ode to a Hand Saw

Ode to our hand saw...why we choose to live without power, and what we've accomplished by hand.

Don’t Judge Me by My Cupboards — Why Not?

Many people believe that their values define who they are. Unfortunately, many of our values don't translate into action. To live a fruitful, peaceful, and productive life, meld your values and actions. You'll be happier and content -- whole.

Killing That Nagging Sense of Inferiority(2)

One of the big barriers to personal happiness is a nagging sense of inferiority. It starts early in life and plagues many of us throughout out lives, poisoning relationships and robbing us of happiness. Here's how to start erasing those feelings.

Killing That Nagging Sense of Inferiority

One of the big barriers to personal happiness is a nagging sense of inferiority. It starts early in life and plagues many of us throughout out lives, poisoning relationships and robbing us of happiness. Here's how to start erasing those feelings.

Are You Drowning in a Sea of Misinformation?

Much to our chagrin, many things we believe are true are dead wrong. Things we believe about other people, health, medicine, renewable energy, and the environment are wrong. Start digging and you'll see and you will start living a smarter life.

Visitors and Company

Ed and Laurie struggle with making time for visitors while dealing with all of the daily business and homesteading tasks.

A Time to Hate, A Time to Love?

In this political season, politicians often define people by their differences, creating strife and even outright contempt among people with opposing political views. Truth is, we have a great deal in common; it is our commonalities that bind us.

Solar Food Drying 2012

Solar drying experiences in 2012, including tomato varieties Principe Borghese and Long Tom.

A Loving Heart is the Truest Wisdom

One of the most powerful lessons I have learned in my life is the power of love to create happiness and harmony. Let your life and your interactions with others be goverened by your love for others. Make preserving and fostering love a goal.

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.

Countertop Water Filtration Growing In Popularity

Try to get clean water and wanting simple bottling options with the purity. Most of the experts in water say you need a countertop water filtration system. Which one is the way to go? This story shows you one option but seems to be kicking it up.

Don't Believe Everything You Think

Many of us hold convictions about others and the world around us that are so wrong that they seriously misguide us, even rob us of happiness and contentment. Don't believe everything you think. Question your beliefs and discover the truth.

Excuses Don’t Feed the Bulldog

Are you one who can't get things done on time or follow up on promises? If so, you are probably an excuse maker. To get off the hook, you'll come up with a thousand reasons why you didn't get your work done. Read this blog and put an end to excuses.

Homegrown Wedding

A wedding using homegrown and local food and no disposable items. Decorations were things already on hand. The ceremony took place in a field and the reception was in a barn...and there was love-lots of it!

Creating an External Hard Drive for Your Brain

Many people have trouble getting things done or done on time. The blog presents a simple technique that will help you become more effective and more successful in all you do.

Sometimes Life Has a Better Plan for You

Adversity is a part of life. Enbrace the hard times. Sometimes, adversity can lead to new opportunities that allow us to pursue new paths, sometimes even re-invent our lives. Knowing something good may arise can help us cope with adversity, too.

Choose Strength and Happiness

Life presents many challenges, but if you consciously choose to be strong and resilient you can recover more quickly and grow even stronger. Your experiences will make you better able to cope and will help you live a happier, more productive life.

Strength and Resilience: Two Keys to a Happy Life

LIfe is full of adversity. Whether you succumb to it or bounce back is up to you. Knowing that no matter what life throws your way you will emerge stronger will help you become more resilient and stronger and will help you create a happier life

Listen to Your Inner Voice

In each of us is an innervoice that really knows what we want to be and what we want out of life but we continually ignore it for the sake of security or out of fear of failure or a million other reasons. Listen to the innervoice and heed its advice.

Redesigning Your Life

Many people admit that their lives haven't turned out the way they'd hoped. Fortunately, it is never too late to re-design and re-create your life so that you live up to your full potential and find the happiness and fulfillment you seek.

What Do You Really Want Out of Life?

Creating the life you want, both personally and professionally, requires clear goals. By establishing the direction of your journey and sticking to your goals, you can achieve anything you want.

Things I Learned too Late in Life – the Book and the Blog

If you're like me, your life's been a series of trials and errors, mistakes and missteps. At times we get it right, but many other times we founder. The goal of my new blog is to help you and others spend more time enjoying life and less time in pain and struggle.

A Collection of Life Stories from the Great Depression

Virginia Grace Abraham shares stories from loved ones about life during the Great Depression and WWII, her stories explore all aspects of the time from hunger and hard work to young marriage and the commonly over-looked woes of the farmer's wife.

Courtship and Marriage in the 1950s

Robert Zwald talks about courting his wife, getting married and starting a family. This is the seventh part of his stories from the past, as compiled by his daughter, Ruth.

Thank You To My Readers

How a non writer can with effort contribute in a small way. To read more on our life style go to www.brucecarolcabin.blogspot.com

Living HOMEGROWN: Am I Doing This Right?

I am the Flock-Tender here on HOMEGROWN.org. I am keeping a chronicle of my experiences learning, living, and growing a homegrown lifestyle fresh out of college. Am I doing this life right?

Alternative to USDA Dietary Guidelines Proposed

Washington, DC nutrition foundation, Weston A. Price Foundation, proposes a Healthy 4 Life dietary plan in the form of a colorful booklet and poster featuring four food groups: animal foods; grains, legumes and nuts; vegetables and fruits; and healthy fats.

A Need to Be Among the Cranes

It’s spring or promises to be, and so, again, I need to be among the Cranes. There’s an actual ache in my breastbone which pulls me to get my feet wet in the meadows, to watch the Sandhill Cranes eat and dance in the farm fields, to hear them wake and call to one another at dawn, and to see them ride thermals on the brighter, south wind days, kettle, then fly to the river to roost together on the sandbars in the river at dusk.

Wind Energy Blog No. 2: The Nature Conservancy

In this Wind Energy Blog, we talk with a representative from The Nature Conservancy to learn more about the environmental impacts of wind energy. Despite the many concerns about the impacts these wind farms can have on wildlife, there are no current regulations that wind farm developers must follow before building their wind farms.

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.  

California Approves the Use of Dangerous Pesticide on Strawberry Fields

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) has approved the use of methyl iodide, a pesticide toxic to humans, for application to strawberry fields. Methyl iodide is recognized as a carcinogen that can also cause late term miscarriage and permanent neurological damage. Scientists agree that farmers cannot safely use the pesticide, and a concerned coalition has formed to persuade Governor Brown to put a moratorium on the use of methyl iodide.  

"Plant it Forward"(2)

This is a fun story about planting seeds for future generations and not recognizing a gift when it is blooming right in your face.

The Future of Oil Spills and Oil Dispersants: A Q&A With Ronald J. Kendall

Although the well that caused the BP oil spill is now dead, the spill’s effects live on. Debate about oil dispersants, such as Corexit, and concerns regarding the settled oil on the ocean floor that came from Deepwater Horizon continue to grow. To understand how the spill impacted and continues to affect the Gulf of Mexico, MOTHER EARTH NEWS spoke with Ronald J. Kendall, director of the Institute of Environmental and Human Health at Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas.   

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.

Warmer Winters and Heavy Snowfall: Brought to You by Global Warming

The National Wildlife Federation has released a report that explains the effects of climate change on winter weather. Warmer winters and heavy snow are causing problems for agriculture, wildlife, communities and even the skiing industry — and the NWF is calling for policy reforms to reduce emissions to slow the effects of global warming. Read on to learn more.

Bad News for Bats: White Nose Syndrome Persists

White nose syndrome continues to threaten bat populations. To help researchers find the cause, and hopefully a cure, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded $800,000 in grants. Here's what one organization is doing to save the Virginia Big-Eared Bat.

National Wildlife Refuge Week

October 10 to 17 has been designated as National Wildlife Refuge Week, a great opportunity to visit the refuges close to you.

The Good Life Center

Helen and Scott Nearing's farmstead, near Harborside, Maine, is now The Good Life Center, where you can tour the grounds, listen to lectures and participate in workshops.

Marriage and the Marks of Farm Life

Life with goats, sheep, cows, chickens and other livestock isn't all roses. Publisher Bryan Welch considers the value of finding and keeping the right partner for tackling life on the farm, goose poop and all.

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.

Considering Neighbors, Tractors and Time

Sometimes even — perhaps especially — those whose lives are full with experience, knowledge and good living can find that as their time begins to dwindle, there isn't quite enough. Not that that's anything other than as it should be.

Court Rules with Navy over Species Protection

Court ruling lifts the ban on sonar testing off the shore of California, much to the chagrin of environmentalists who have long blamed sonar technologies for deaths in aquatic life.

250 Years of Research Makes One Encyclopedia of Life

After 250 years, scientists are just getting started naming all of the species on Earth — though they've collected quite a bit of information so far - and the Encyclopedia of Life aims to collect all of the information about life on Earth in one place. Find out how you can use — and help build — this terrific online tool.

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. 

Monarchs Are On the Move

The 2008 fall monarch migration is underway, with better resources than ever for tracking the progress of these miraculous butterflies.

The Not-So-Great Divide

The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall along the US-Mexico border to keep illegal immigrants, but have they thought about the wildlife that they will destroy along the way?

Make Your Pond Happy

Ponds serve many purposes that add an economic or recreational value to the landowner. If you own a pond or want to, read The Pond Guidebook to learn how to maintain or construct one.

A Need for Border Order

The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall along the US-Mexico border, despite petitions from the Defenders of Wildlife and the Sierra Club.

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!

A Call for Border Order

The Department of Homeland Security continues to build a 670-mile-long wall to create a barrier along the US-Mexico border. Although the wall will never completely stop illegal immigrants from coming into the country, it will risk the survival of animals and wildlife in the area.

Highway Safety & Wildlife Crossings

Animal-vehicle wrecks cause about 200 human fatalities and 29,000 injuries a year. The fight between wildlife and urban developers seems never-ending, but wildlife crossings can be a solution. Learn how you can help just by giving your state's Department of Transportation a call.

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!

Why I Farm

Farming brings with it a lot of dirt, manure and blood, not to mention death. But it's these that also make it so full of life.