Cover Crops: Better Soil in a Month

Cover crops or green manures have improved soil for thousands of years. We look at what one month of growth provides in an average raised bed.

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.

Cover Crops: Building Soil the Natural Way

What is a cover crop? Understand how to build the health of your soil the natural way by planting cover crop seeds. Explore seed types, when to plant, and the step-by-step process for planting a healthy cover crop in your garden.

7 Surprising Benefits of Chia Seeds

While some proclaimed benefits of chia seeds may be a bit exaggerated, these seeds are packed full of vital nutrients like fiber and omega-3 fatty acids and should not be overlooked as a healthy addition to your diet.

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.

Where to Buy Non-GMO Seeds

With GMOs seemingly everywhere you turn, it’s hard to know where to buy non-GMO Seeds. Here’s how to keep GMOs out of your garden.

Blossom-End Rot: Prevention and Treatment

Blossom-end rot is a perennial problem – meaning we will deal with it every year in our gardens. This doesn't mean that it can't be successfully minimized, with a jump start and some knowledge that gives us a leg up for next season. We will show you what causes blossom end rot and both the prevention and treatment to make sure that you minimize your losses this year.

Neighborhood Micro Nurseries, Part 1

We are creating two neighborhood nurseries where we'll raise trees and plants to share with neighbors to develop a neighborhood food forest.

Deciding Which Seeds to Order blogger and Bay Area homesteader Rachel of Dog Island Farm shares tips for deciding which seeds to order — in other words, which vegetable varieties to grow.

How to Test Leftover Seeds

This blog tells you how to test seeds that you’ve saved from last season to see if they are worth planting.

Highland Kale Is a Versatile Mustard Green from Ethiopia

Highland Kale (Brassica carinata – aka Ethiopian Blue Mustard, aka Gommenzar) is not quite a kale and not quite a mustard. It is a very versatile, and delicious “winter” green, that’s also not just for growing in cool seasons.

Garden Planning for Spring 2015: Index Your Plant Choices

It’s time to start garden planning for spring 2015! An uncomplicated way of collecting and organizing your information during those long winter days is to get some index cards, scissors and tape. Cut out the plant varieties from catalogues that you find interesting, with the pertinent information tape this information to the index card to take along to the nursery come spring.

Organic Seed Alliance: Stewardship of Genetic Resources

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.

Design Your Own Seed-Saving Course

Interested in seed saving but worried about mistakes? Have questions about seed saving? Here’s the chance to give your input in a new seed saving class!

Improving Garden Soil: Milk and Molasses Magic

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.

Better Lettuce Seed Germination

When lettuce is mentioned, many think of the standard iceberg lettuce found in supermarkets and restaurant salads. That is changing with the growth in popularity of the different types of lettuces from Romaine to head and leaf-type lettuces, mainly due to the flavors and colors that they offer from deep red to almost white and noticeably sweet to tangy and slightly bitter.

How to Harvest and Prepare Sunflower Seeds

As fall nears, sunflowers are beginning to die off and it's time to harvest their seeds! In this post I bring you through the steps to harvest and prepare your sunflower seeds for eating!

Seed Libraries

A description of what a seed library is and suggestions for why you might want to be involved with one. Links are included for more information.

The Race Is on for the First Pea

In addition to my taste for shelling peas, I also want to get the first taste of the season to show off my gardening prowess.

Goats: The Great Weed-eaters

Goats are terrific weed eaters, and do a great job clearing land for you, why not utilize them for clearing your pastures!

Seed Catalogs: Waiting for Winter to End

Sorting through seed catalogs is one of the most entertaining tasks we have here at MOTHER EARTH NEWS. These garden seed catalogs come in handy when searching for just the right variety of heirloom veggies to grow, and they're fun to look at too!

Hybrid Seeds vs. GMOs

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

Five Easy-to-Grow Gourmet Vegetables

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.

Heirloom Vegetables: Saving Seed

Heirloom vegetables are multi-use crops that have been passed down from gardeners for decades, sometimes centuries. Respected author and gardener, William Woys Weaver, discusses his reasons for using heirloom plants and saving seed.

A Midsummer Garden Haircut

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.

First Time Gardener in the Office Garden

Summer intern Megan describes her first time gardening at MOTHER EARTH NEWS, planting cucumbers for the first time and watering the office garden.

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?

Heirloom Seed Collections

The Living Seed Company is working to preserve genetic diversity in our food chain, through the distribution and growing of open pollinated seeds and preserving the ancient art of seed saving.

Permaculture in Winter

A rundown of activities you can do in the winter to improve your homestead.

Late-Summer Gardening

In July and August, it’s time to start thinking about planting crops for fall. But how do you get good seed germination when the soil is so hot?

Heirloom Spotlight: The History of Beans

Read this excerpt about heirloom beans from Heirloom Vegetable Gardening: A Master Gardener's Guide to Planting, Growing, Seed Saving and Cultural History by William Woys Weaver. This book will help you re-discover heirloom vegetables from our American culinary and gardening roots.

With a Packet In My Pocket

To ensure we have a full productive garden, each spring I start a habit of carrying a packet of seeds in my pocket every time I head to the garden!

"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.

Plant it Forward

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

Organic Garden Seeds

Organic seeds have benefits for your garden. Learn what our expert recommends and how to find organic seeds to plant.

Become More Self-Sufficient by Saving Seeds

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


Bring your best heirloom veggie or other unique saved seeds to the Seed Swap at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR taking place Sept. 25 and 26 in Pennsylvania.

Gardening on a Budget: Seven Tips for Success

Don’t let the cost of gardening keep you out of the dirt this year. Cheap gardening can be fun and easy. With these tips for gardening on a budget, you’ll save on seeds, make your own fertilizer and impress your friends with your gardening know how.

Seed Starting Tips

Consult these seed starting tips for easy advice on seed planting, using the best materials, watering, grow lights and more.