As a Mother Earth News blogger community member, I was invited to tag along on Yanmar’s Field Day with 60 other participants. Arriving at Seven Springs, Pennsylvania a day early, we rode to Sanaview Farms (Champion, PA) via bus just 20 minutes away. All I knew was there would be tractor and greenhouse workshops, so the entire endeavor was quite a mystery. Sometimes not knowing is the best thing to happen.
Although you may hear the term "master gardener", there is no one right way to grow your garden. For all gardeners out there, the surefire way to learn how to garden is by conducting experiments — by setting a hypothesis, testing it, and recording your results in a gardening journal.
While shade presents a challenge, it certainly needn’t stop you from growing your own fruit and vegetables. In this video we’ll suggest shade-tolerant vegetables and fruits, and share a few tricks of the trade to maximize the light your garden does receive.
Sweet Home Farms Meats is located on acreage in the central Willamette Valley that includes a picturesque stream which offers both water for the farm and a great place to cool off on hot summer afternoons. The farm is a work in progress for two young urbanites who now love the country.
Indoor air is polluted by volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. These gases are emitted into the air from products like pesticides, air fresheners, cleaning products, paint and paint remover, personal care products, appliances, furniture and building products, including carpet and pressed-wood floors, and more. Learn several steps to take to guard against indoor air pollution and how indoor air quality monitors can help.
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.
On-farm enterprises often take root when a gardener produces more than they can personally use. Here is a brief guide to working with restaurants and creating a Farm-to-Table culture within your community.
Just west of Applegate, Oregon, Barking Moon Farm is tucked into a clearing on the edge of the Siskiyou Mountains. Here, Josh Cohen is transforming challenging conditions into a highly productive farm.
How might we redesign our spaces to create edible abundance? Transform your water-guzzling lawn into a productive polyculture food forest. If you are ready to transform your lawn and your outdoor living space, read on.
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.
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.
The Tao of Vegetable Gardening by groundbreaking garden writer Carol Deppe explores the practical methods as well as the deeper essence of gardening. She focuses on some of the most popular home garden vegetables—tomatoes, green beans, peas, and leafy greens—and through them illustrates the key principles and practices that gardeners need to know to successfully plant and grow just about any food crop.
In The Nourishing Homestead, Ben Hewitt along with his wife Penny tell the story of how we can create truly satisfying, permanent, nourished relationships to the land, nature, and one another. With plenty of practical ways to grow nutrient-dense food, build soil, and develop traditional skills, this book is sure to inspire a new generation of homesteaders.
Herbicide residue can linger in soil and ground water for years. Use these proven methods of strategic burning, grazing, cover crops, mowing and “frost interseeding” to establish your native prairie, and avoid harming wildlife.
If you think it's important to prevent Monsanto and other corporate giants from controlling the seed supply, you may want to consider donating to Organic Seed Alliance. Here is a short video about the work they do.
The new apple orchard we're planning for our homestead won't be the classical lawn-layout most people are accustomed to. Our edible landscape will mimic a natural landscape with the goal to reduce interference such as spraying while providing organic fruit, berries and herbs for many months of many years.
Do you know about the magic of milk and molasses in improving your garden? Yes, plain old milk of any kind – whole, 2%, raw, dried, skim or nonfat – is a miracle in the garden for plants, soil and compost. Molasses only boosts the benefits! Let’s see how and why they work.
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 .
It can be very frustrating trying to find horse treats that are safe and healthy for our equine friends. So, why not make your own? In this post, Harper Slusher shares her recipe for natural horse treats.
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.
It was becoming pretty obvious the crowding and lack of light were real limitations to my mini garden. Then, the idea of a trough on the windowsill came to mind, combining a way to water all the plants uniformly and efficiently all at once. Great, now how to make this trough? Wood? Sheet metal? The choices all seemed expensive, clumsy, prone to leaking...then the light bulb went on in my head: gutters!
Bastyr University is pleased to announce it has partnered with Seattle-based Choice Organic Teas to develop and launch a new line of flavorful, certified organic Wellness Teas. This marks the first time the University has lent its name on a consumer product.
Carrington Farms, the creators of delicious 100 percent organic, non-genetically modified health food products, continues to reach outside of the box to provide healthy flax seed blends and cooking oils that are not only good for consumers but are affordable and taste great!
What exactly is hydroponic gardening? Though it may sound complicated, it’s really not. The word "hydroponic" comes from the Greek "hydro," meaning water, and “ponic,” meaning work. The basic concept is this: growing plants in a nutrient rich water solution rather than in soil.
A neglected, overgrown, old apple tree does have charm, its gnarled, elbowed branches seemingly ready to reach out for a hug. The fruits, unfortunately, more often than not are too small, too pest-ridden, and too high in the tree. My fear of heights makes the last deficiency most important to me. Large, clean fruits are for nought if I can’t bring myself to climb a ladder or the branches for harvest.
Annie’s is expanding its line of wholesome comfort food favorites with a new, kid-friendly pasta product: Bernie’s Farm Macaroni & Cheese, made with 100 percent real cheese and certified-organic pasta in a variety of shapes featuring life on the farm. Like all of Annie’s products, Bernie’s Farm Macaroni & Cheese contains no artificial flavors, synthetic colors or preservatives.
I’d like to introduce the words farmden and farmdener into the English language. I wonder if there are any other farmdeners out there. And just what is a farmden? It’s more than a garden, less than a farm. That’s my definition, but it also could be described as a site with more plants and/or land than one person can care for sanely. A gardener and garden gone wild, out of control.
If I could only pick one season extending structure, it would be a cold frame. Incredibly versatile, a simple cold frame is the key to taking your garden from a two or three-season plot and turning it into a year round vegetable factory.
The 20th-Annual Organic Growers School takes place March 8 through March 10 at the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) in Asheville, N.C. The event, which is open to the public, provides practical, region-appropriate organic growing and permaculture workshops, homesteading and rural living classes, as well as a seed exchange, silent auction and trade show.
Growing some of the most delicious and sometimes expensive gourmet vegetables doesn't have to be hard. Artichoke, bronze fennel, kohlrabi, leek, and savoy cabbage are among the vegetables that grow well from seed.
Are organic foods healthier? In the wake of a media frenzy revolving a “study” by Stanford University claiming to answer this question, many people were left wondering. Benefits of organic food go beyond the vitamin content: The overwhelming amounts and types of pesticides in our food play a major role in many shoppers’ decision to go organic.
One thing I know for sure is that many in the local farm and food scene are working through the same issue. We are numbers people in search of numbers. We aren’t crazy unscientific loons like our industrial brothers and sisters think we are.
Growing Local Food is a new book that encompasses all the needed basics to grow plants, keep heritage breed animals and bees. The author is a homesteader and physician who gives the readers the basic information to grow or find nutritious, local food
Steve Judge of Bob-White Systems in Vermont offers his Micro Dairy expertise in this blog series on how to start and manage a Micro Dairy, from farm and barn planning to selecting dairy cows, goats and sheep to daily operations and being profitable.
Using oil seed radishes to add organic matter to the ground and attracting native pollinators with a nest site. Harvesting sweet potato seeds if we're lucky and admiring the parasitic wasp's ability to lay white egg sacs into the body of a horn worm
Giving your ornamental and vegetable garden a thorough cleaning in midsummer not only leaves the landscape looking better, but can help prevent damage from diseases and pests by removing the conditions in which they thrive.
There are many logical reasons for adding flowers to your vegetable garden: attracting beneficials, crop diversity, companion-planting, barriers and healthy soil. But perhaps their beauty does not need to be rationalized at all!
Let’s put water back into the soil where it belongs. Permeable or porous surfaces, like a gravel path or patio, allow rainfall and irrigation to percolate into the ground rather than spill into the street.
A birdbath in the garden does much more than a birdfeeder. Attract birds to the garden with water, and they will help with pest control, soil aeration, and much more as they get the water they need for drinking and grooming. Wasps love a drink too.
Popcorn is easy to grow and makes an attractive and delicious alternative to sweet corn, especially in a small garden. Kids will love the cute little ears, and adults will treasure the superior flavor of homegrown popcorn. Plant in late spring.
Introducing the serviceberry, a beautiful landscape tree or shrub suitable in much of North America, to the edible landscape. Serviceberry -- or sarvis -- comes in many regional forms and produces edible berries.
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...
When a vegetable garden doesn’t look like a vegetable garden, what is it? A polyculture, where gardeners strive to address this simple truth: The most effective way to grow healthy plants is to create gardens that replicate nature.
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?
I’m a handmade gardening gal – part eco-friendly, non-traditionalist; part crafty creative with more ideas than money, and an abiding aversion to off-the-shelf shopping. My garden is my canvas, my vision, and my voice.
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.
The morning started off with a decent lecture on poultry operation, production, and marketing. After a midday break, lectures resumed, this time being led by a different fellow, on the subject of free-range, humane certified broiler production. I won
Wendy Albright remembers visiting her grandparent's farm where practicing organic living was the preferred way of life; they exercised natural crop cultivation, gathered fresh chicken eggs, canned both vegetables and meat and the term "eating like a thrasher" became a reality.
At first glance George Siemon and Doc Hatfield don’t appear to have a whole lot in common. But George and Doc and a bunch of conspirators are revolutionizing agriculture: they are putting consumers back in touch with the people who grow their food.
For those of us who hate to use chemicals in our gardens, in our homes, or with our livestock and pets, diatomaceous earth may be a safe and efficient substitute. It may worm your animals, rid them of fleas and lice and even handle indoor pests.
Mulch, like compost, plays an important role in organic gardening. To maximize the flavor and nutrition of your produce, learn how to use and balance the characteristics of various organic materials when mulching.
Organic Pond is pleased to announce that the Organic Materials Research Institute (OMRI) has reviewed the company's PureBacteria+ Biological Pond Muck Reducer and has listed PureBacteria+ for use in organic production.
Although the concepts of fair trade, buying local and buying organic food are used to aid the economies of developing countries, these same three concepts can help our local communities become the healthy communities we can thrive in.
This is an excerpt from Christopher Nyerges' "Self-Sufficient Home" book (published by Stackpole) where he talks about some of his early gardening experiences and when he learned that the health of the soil is the most important aspect of gardening.
Diane Ott Whealy of Seed Savers Exchange and Jackie Cleary Dietrich of Auburn Meadow Farm will present workshops on gardening and farming at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, Sept. 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Ruth Rogers Clausen of Timber Press will present a workshop on how to cope with deer when gardening at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Candy DeBerry, Ph.D. of Washington & Jefferson College will present a workshop on pollination at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Tammi Hartung of Desert Canyon Farm will present three workshops on growing and using herbs at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival. September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Jennifer R. Bartley of American Potager will present a workshop on cooking with herbs and vegetables from a kitchen garden at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Deborah Niemann of Antiquity Oaks will present two workshops on traditional home dairies and homegrown food at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Ann Adams and Liz Brensinger of Green Heron Tools will present a workshop on the principles of good body mechanics at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Who needs a TV drama, when, out the back door, we have our own alfresco drama, complete with territory battles, births, deaths, alien invasions, mystery, beauty and fornication, unfolding daily before our very eyes if we care to look.
Uncle Matt’s Organic, best known for their line of premium organic orange juices, announced today the launch of its new 100% organic, not-from-concentrate, orchard-style apple juice. The next best thing to drinking it fresh from the orchard!
"Queen of the Sun: What Are the Bees Telling Us?" is a new bee documentary that examines the global bee crisis through the eyes of beekeepers, scientists, farmers and philosophers. The film emphasizes the thoughts of biodynamic and organic beekeepers on Colony Collapse Disorder and highlights the impact of industrial agriculture on the relationship between humans and bees.
By the 4th of July, there's a palpable shift in the feel of the beekeeping season. New beekeepers wish for more guidance, and may even be wondering why they started this project! Here's a little reassurance that you are not alone in your endeavor.
The Worldwatch Institute declares that many people worldwide are turning to organic agriculture to feed themselves and others, while feeling good about protecting the environment in a time of economic depression.
Linda Gilkeson, master gardener, and Jessie Price of EatingWell Magazine will present workshops on gardening and healthy cooking at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Lindsay Lee, nursery owner and Seed Savers Exchange advisor, will present a workshop on grafting fruit trees at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Erin Harwood and Eloyce O'Connor of the Garden Delights CSA and Herb Farm will present a workshop on natural remedies at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Green & Black’s, an organic chocolate company, takes a two week trip to the Dominican Republic to dig an 11.5 km trench. The trench will supply water to their cocoa farmers, helping product the cocoa which makes Green & Black’s chocolate bars.
Maddy Harland writes about principles that underpin our understanding and practical application of permaculture. She relates them to designing a green home and garden but also explains how permaculture can help us to create more sustainable lifestyle
Everyday families can now provide much of their fresh vegetables using Aquaponics. Aquaponics is the production of edible fish and vegetables growing in a drought proof, no weed, back saving growing system.
Regardless of how little space you have, you can grow some of your own food. Space is just an excuse. By building a self-watering container or soda bottle planter you can maximize the space that you have. You don't have to have a huge garden - growi
This blog post started life as an article in The Natural Farmer,published by the Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA). It could be said to herald the birth of that entity we have come to call The Cynical Optimist.
Go Greens - Super Fruits and Veggies supplies the natural antioxidant power of 6 servings of vibrantly colored organic fruits and vegetables in every handy “stick” pack. To Go Brands plans to continue to expand the Healthy To Go® product line.
New organic milk contains Omega-3, which is not approved as an additive to certified organic milk. The Cornucopia Institute found this illegal synthetic additive in new organic milk in its latest investigation.
Lundberg Family Farms announces the opening of a new warehouse that is powered by 100% solar energy. Lundberg Family Farms produces wholesome, healthful rice products while protecting and improving the environment for future generations.
Grow organic fruit trees and harvest bug-free, chemical-free fruit by covering your fruit with homemade bags made from row cover. Use row cover bags as an alternative to plastic bags. Row cover bags are more effective and have fewer issues than plastic bags.
We may find it overwhelming to know where to begin in teaching others to eat healthily. People attempting to eat healthier find it difficult to know where to begin. "The Dirty Dozen" fruits and vegetables gives us all a place to start.
At least four major beef recalls due to E. coli tainted meat occurred in 2010. A substantial percentage of the meat was certified organic. With these beef scares in mind, the fact that Grist readers voted hamburgers as the second scariest food of 2010 comes as no surprise.
Amid mounting concerns over food security and sustainable food systems, the rise of urban gardens and agriculture has been on the rise. Due to a paralleled increase in the numbers of people interested in learning how to garden, programs in urban agriculture at colleges as well as nonprofit urban garden training programs have sprouted up across the country.
Both organic and local food are important if we want to eat nutritious and delicious food. Furthermore, our current food system is in jeapordy because petroleum and water supplies are dwindling and climate change is resulting in more extreme weather.
Engineer Venkappa Gani leads by example when it comes to sustainable living. His entire backyard is an organic garden, an edible landscape that borders his rainwater harvesting tank collectors overlooked by solar panels that power his home (and more!). Gani is dedicated to sustainability, a word he lives by everyday at his suburban home in Austin, Texas.
Environmental journalist Simran Sethi goes through the process of rejuvenating her hardwood floors, and describes how to avoid harmful ingredients in cleaning products, such as volatile organic compounds, in the process.
The creators of Food Inc. make a great effort to teach their audience about where our food comes from and about the effects of our industrial food system. After seeing the documentary, MOTHER EARTH NEWS blogger Jenna Woginrich was inspired to write her own argument about the way we view and consume food - and ask: Will those who most need the education ever see the film?
According to a team from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, organic food is not nutritionally superior to conventional. We know this isn't true, and here's an excellent response from The Organic Center.
To better accommodate the planting schedule of gardeners in the southern United States, California’s Natural Gardening Company will make a dozen varieties of tomato transplants available by mid-August.
Sharp-eyed guineas are among the most useful of all farm fowl for control of crop-damaging insects. Essential to the author’s squash bug control project is ElectroNet (electric net fencing), which he uses to make a perimeter around the squash plot. A small moveable pasture shelter is provided inside the net — in which the guineas roost at night, or find shade or shelter from rain.
Managing Cover Crops Profitably, 3rd Edition, is now available in print and by download from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program. Learn how to make your soil perform at its very best!
University of Florida entomologist Russell Mizell investigated ways to attract stink bugs to trap crops rather than cash crops—with great success. His experience can help you learn how to design trap crop scenarios of your own.
Organic Valley's new Pasture Butter is a standout among cultured butters and organic food products. This is one of the few products available today that respects Mother Nature by paying attention to the seasons, not to mention the needs of our food-producing animal friends.
We're trying it before you buy it! Every week Relish — one of our weekly blogs — features taste tests on various organic foods and snacks. This week we're featuring Kaia Premium Granola in raison cinnamon, dates & spices and cocoa bliss. Read on to find out what we thought!
We're trying it before you buy it! Now Relish, one of our weekly blogs, will feature taste tests on various organic foods and snacks. This week we're featuring Kopali Organics snacks in Goldenberry. Read on to find out what we thought!