Mother Earth News is pleased to bring you 100 pages of expert advice for self-sufficient living in the new Premium Issue: Modern Homesteading. More than 25 articles cover off-grid living, easy food gardens, solar heating plans, preserving food, and much more.
Read how to start a quick and easy food garden with a no-dig, easy-care bag garden that features 25 favorite crops. Discover how to make a food self-sufficiency plan by estimating how much to grow or buy, and learn how to achieve food security with these handy charts and guidelines. Learn how to keep bees and produce fresh, delicious honey in your own backyard. Make your own herbal medicine by finding ingredients for many basic herbal remedies.
Other articles include:
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Mountaintop removal (MTR) does exactly what it says: A mountaintop is stripped of trees, blown to bits with explosives, then pushed aside by giant equipment … all to expose a layer of coal to be mined. Hundreds of thousands of acres of ancient forested mountains have been ''removed'' this way and will never again support the biologically rich and diverse forest and stream communities that evolved there over millions of years. Instead, they've been sacrificed to support a flawed national energy policy. Mountain Justice tells a terrific set of firsthand stories about living with MTR and offers on-the-scene (and behind-the-scenes) reporting of what people are doing to try to stop it. Tricia Shapiro lets the victims of mountaintop removal and their allies tell their own stories, allowing moments of quiet dignity and righteous indignation to share center stage. This book includes coverage of the sharp escalation of anti-MTR civil disobedience, with more than 130 arrests in West Virginia alone during the first year of the Obama administration. This is an international issue, with campaigns against this massively damaging method of mining taking place in the United Kingdom, India, Canada, New Zealand and Burma. The proposed destruction of a number of habitats, from mountaintops to heath land to jungle, is a loss for us all.
Author: Tricia Shapiro
In Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry, food preserving expert Cathy Barrow presents a beautiful collection of essential preserving techniques for turning the fleeting abundance of the farmers’ market into a well-stocked pantry full of canned fruits and vegetables, jams, stocks, soups, and more.
As Barrow writes in her introduction, “A walk through the weekend farmers’ market is a chance not only to shop for the week ahead but also to plan for the winter months.” From the strawberries and blueberries of late spring to the peaches, tomatoes, and butter beans of early fall, Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry shows you how to create a fresh, delectable, and lasting pantry—a grocery store in your own home.
Beyond the core techniques of water-bath canning, advanced techniques for pressure canning, salt-curing meats and fish, smoking, and even air-curing pancetta are broken down into easy-to-digest, confidence-building instructions.
Under Barrow’s affable direction, you’ll discover that homemade cream cheese and Camembert are within the grasp of the weekday cook—and the same goes for smoked salmon, home canned black beans, and preserved and cured duck confit.
In addition to canning techniques, Practical Pantry includes 36 bonus recipes using what’s been preserved: rugelach filled with apricot preserves, tomato soup from canned crushed tomatoes, arugula and bresaola salad with Parmigiano-Reggiano and hazelnuts, brined pork chops with garlicky bok choy.
Tips for choosing the best produce at the right time of season and finding the right equipment for your canning and cooking needs—along with troubleshooting tips to ensure safe preserving—will keep your kitchen vibrant from spring to fall.
Whether your food comes by the crate, the bushel, or the canvas bag, just a few of Barrow’s recipes are enough to furnish your own practical pantry, one that will provide nourishment and delight all year round. Canning and preserving is not just about the convenience of a pantry filled with peaches, dill pickles, and currant jelly, nor is it the simple joy of making a meal from the jars on the shelf—creating a practical pantry is about cultivating a thoughtful connection with your local community, about knowing exactly where your food comes from and what it can become.
Author: Cathy Barrow
After a getaway in gorgeous rural Vermont-its mountains ablaze in autumnal glory, its Main Streets quaint and welcoming-Ellen Stimson and her family make up their minds even before they get back to St. Louis: "We're moving to Vermont!" The reality, they quickly learn, is not quite as glorious, often far too quaint, but, happily, worth all the trouble.
In self-deprecating and hilarious fashion, Mud Season chronicles Stimson's transition from city life to small Vermont farmhouse. When she decides she wants to own and operate the old-fashioned village store in idyllic Dorset, population 2,036, one of the oldest continually operating country stores in the nation, she learns the hard way that "improvements" are not always welcomed warmly by folks who like things just fine the way they've always been.
She dreams of patrons streaming in for fresh-made sandwiches and an old-timey candy counter, but she learns they're boycotting the store. Why? "The bread," they tell her, "you moved the bread from where it used to be." Can the citified newcomer turn the tide of mistrust before she ruins the business altogether?
Follow the author to her wits' end and back, through her full immersion into rural life-swapping high heels for muck boots; raising chickens and sheep; fighting off skunks, foxes and bears; and making a few friends and allies in a tiny town steeped in history, local tradition and that dyed-in-the-wool Vermont "character."
Author: Ellen Stimson
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Ready. Set. Play! Build this backyard multi-rec play set from standard dimensional lumber and common hardware. The railroad-tie base supports two swings, a trapeze bar, a play deck, a ladder and a 12-foot slide. Includes a sandbox too! This blueprint includes detailed assembly drawings, photos, dimensions and a materials list on one page.
It is your responsibility to make sure that any project you undertake is safe, effective and legal for your situation. All Ogden Publications blueprints are offered AS IS for information and entertainment purposes only. No warranties are expressed or implied. By using this information or this blueprint you agree to hold Ogden Publications harmless from any damages or injuries of any kind that might result from errors, omissions or other causes.
Author: Paul A. Swenson
Cathal Armstrong celebrates the food of his homeland and chronicles his culinary journey from Dublin to Washington, D.C., where he runs seven beloved and critically lauded restaurants.
Author: C. Armstrong, D. Hagedorn
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Who needs a chainsaw? Anyone who cuts or uses wood! Learn simple saw maintenance, sharpening secrets and the best ways to use this handy homesteading tool. Regular Price $12.95.
Author: Walter Hall
New Prairie Kitchen profiles 25 of the most exciting and groundbreaking chefs, farmers and producers of artisanal goods from Nebraska, Iowa, South Dakota and Missouri. Their personal stories are interspersed with more than 50 chef-contributed recipes that range from refreshingly simple to exquisitely gourmet. Organized by season, New Prairie Kitchen will transport you to a revitalized Midwestern heartland where traditional favorites interweave with inspiring new flavors and techniques.
The Great Plains are often maligned as "flyover" country, or perhaps only known as bulk producers of corn, soybeans, beef and pork. But spend any time in these heartland cities or farms and you'll quickly discover a burgeoning "good food" movement and top-notch farm-to-fork dining. Nebraska can still grill a mean flat iron steak and Iowa can grow corn as high as an elephant's eye, but New Prairie Kitchen introduces readers to the phenomenal talent emerging from America’s breadbasket: farms that grow asparagus thick as your thumb and tender as a strawberry; dairies that produce fresh, natural milks and cheeses; and nationally recognized restaurants that make these mouthwatering ingredients into edible art. Pioneering chefs across the prairie have taken an old-meets-new approach to their cuisine, sourcing traditional staples, such as bison and ground cherries, from local sustainable farms, and incorporating them into recipes in new and thrilling ways.
Author: Summer Miller
Nosh on This: Gluten-Free Baking from a Jewish-American Kitchen presents more than 100 gluten-free recipes inspired by the classics Lisa Stander-Horel grew up helping her mother make … and the bakery and store-bought favorites she and her family missed the most. Here are Mom's Marble Chiffon Cake, Black & White Cookies, O'Figginz Bars, and classic holiday treats including Macaroons, Hamantashen, and Big Fat Baked Sufganiyah Jelly Donuts. Bring the nosh back into your life with baked goods that have all the textures and tastes you remember and crave!
With Nosh on This you can continue to enjoy all your favorite baked treats and take your gluten-free baking to the next level. Even Bubbe will be impressed.
Author: Lisa Stander-Horel, Tim Horel
Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking is a kitchen classic. Hailed by Time magazine as "a minor masterpiece" when it first appeared in 1984, On Food and Cooking is the bible to which food lovers and professional chefs worldwide turn for an understanding of where our foods come from, what exactly they're made of, and how cooking transforms them into something new and delicious.
Now, for its 20th anniversary, Harold McGee has prepared a new, fully revised and updated edition of On Food and Cooking. He has rewritten the text almost completely, expanded it by two-thirds, and commissioned more than 100 new illustrations. As compulsively readable and engaging as ever, the new On Food and Cooking provides countless eye-opening insights into food, its preparation, and its enjoyment.
On Food and Cooking pioneered the translation of technical food science into cook-friendly kitchen science and helped give birth to the inventive culinary movement known as "molecular gastronomy." Though other books have now been written about kitchen science, On Food and Cooking remains unmatched in the accuracy, clarity and thoroughness of its explanations, and the intriguing way in which it blends science with the historical evolution of foods and cooking techniques.
On Food and Cooking is an invaluable and monumental compendium of basic information about ingredients, cooking methods and the pleasures of eating. It will delight and fascinate anyone who has ever cooked, savored or wondered about food.
Author: Harold McGee
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Bigger has turned out not to be better. Servicing the global economy has exacted a heavy toll in the erosion of our communities and the destruction of our environment. Increasingly, we are coming to realize that the way forward looks a lot like the way back — back to strong local economies, back to resilient, tight-knit communities, back to the land and work that is real.
As we chart our course through these uncertain times, we are hungry for inspiration. Robert Swann was a self-taught economist, a tireless champion of decentralism, and the father of the relocalization movement. A conscientious war resistor imprisoned for his beliefs, Swann engaged in lifelong nonviolent direct action against war, racism and economic inequity. His legacy is a vision of a life-affirming, alternative economy of peace founded on innovations in land and monetary reform.
Swann's story is also the untold history of decentralism in the United States. He associated with a constellation of vital, intelligent independent authors and activists, and ultimately co-founded the Schumacher Society based on the philosophies of Small Is Beautiful author E. F. Schumacher.
Swann forged tools to build productive, resilient local and regional economies. Now as global industrial civilization flails in the throes of ecological and economic crisis, Swann's working innovations are at the ready to help neighborhoods, local entrepreneurs, and willing communities to rebuild at appropriate scales.
Author: STEPHANIE MILLS
In this one-of-a-kind recipe collection, Ruperti shows how to create beautiful, delicious and wholesome desserts from scratch using just one bowl. No mixer, no food processor. It's for anyone looking for the ease and convenience of box mix baking, but with quality ingredients and gourmet results.
Author: Yvonne Ruperti
Quick desserts and even quicker clean up mean more time with your family and friends, and less time in the kitchen. With One Dirty Bowl, whip up show-stopping desserts like Hazelnut Puffs, Peanut Butter Truffle Bars, and White Chocolate and Strawberry Cupcakes, all while dirtying just one bowl. Grab your bowl and get ready to bake!
Author: Christina Dymock
Not just a major vacation destination, Montana is a veritable melting pot of delicious grub. Add to it the wide-open spaces, outdoor living and the riches of nature, and it’s enough to make any vacationer question the decision to go home! Prepare yourself for what the authors call “great, honest and authentically hearty chow you can prepare at home,” the Montana way. Open Range serves up generous portions of meat (including venison, quail, duck, elk, fish, pork and beef), and all manner of favorite local steakhouse sides.
The Mint Bar and Café in Belgrade, Montana, inspired the book, but the recipes include much more than menu offerings. Far from dusty chuckwagon cuisine, Montana’s culinary influences are Cajun, Creole, French and Italian. Standouts include Fried Meat Pies, Campfire Coffee Chili, Buttermilk-Fried Quail with Steen’s Syrup, Poacher’s Deer Leg, and more. The authors put their considerable knowledge of meat-eating to use: beginning with how the animal was raised through all the steps of choosing, prepping, marinating, cooking and enjoying it. Follow the main course with basic potatoes and creamed spinach to stews, salsas, greens and desserts: You’ll leave the table satisfied.
Author: Jay Bentley, Patrick Dillon
In 2002, Texas journalist Brad Tyer strapped a canoe on his truck and moved to Montana, a state that has long exerted a mythic pull on America's imagination as an unspoiled landscape. The son of an engineer who reclaimed wastewater, Tyer was looking for a pristine river to call his own. What he found instead was a century's worth of industrial poison clotting the Clark Fork River, a decades-long engineering project to clean it up, and a forgotten town named Opportunity.
At the turn of the nineteenth century, Montana exploited the richest copper deposits in the world, fueling the electric growth of twentieth-century America and building some of the nation's most outlandish fortunes. The toxic byproduct of those fortunes-what didn't spill into the river-was dumped in Opportunity.
In the twenty-first century, Montana's draw is no longer metal, but landscape: the blue-ribbon trout streams and unspoiled wilderness of the nation's "last best place." To match reality to the myth, affluent exurbanites and well-meaning environmentalists are trying to restore the Clark Fork River to its "natural state." In the process, millions of tons of toxic soils are being removed and dumped-once again-in Opportunity. As Tyer investigates Opportunity's history, he wrestles with questions of environmental justice and the ethics of burdening one community with an entire region's waste.
Stalled at the intersection of a fading extractive economy and a fledgling restoration boom, Opportunity's story is a secret history of the American Dream, and a key to understanding the country's-and increasingly the globe's-demand for modern convenience.
As Tyer explores the degradations of the landscape, he also probes the parallel emotional geography of familial estrangement. Part personal history and part reportorial narrative, Opportunity, Montana is a story of progress and its price, of copper and water, of father and son, and of our attempts to redeem the mistakes of the past.
Author: Brad Tyer
In 1971, a caravan of 60 brightly painted school buses and assorted other vehicles carrying more than 300 hippie idealists landed on an abandoned farm in central Tennessee. They had a mission: to be a part of something bigger than themselves, to follow a peaceful and spiritual path, and to make a difference in the world. Out to Change the World tells the story of how those hippies established The Farm, one of the largest and longest-lasting intentional communities in the United States. Starting with the 1960s Haight-Ashbury scene where it all began and continuing through the changeover from commune to collective up to the present day, this is the first complete account of The Farm's origins, inception, growth and evolution. By turns inspiring, cautionary, triumphant and wistful, it's a captivating narrative from start to finish.
Author: Douglas Stevenson
We all know the proverb about teaching someone to fish, but if there are no fish left, knowing how to catch them won’t do you any good. And that’s the position businesses are in today. Resources are being depleted at an alarming rate. The cost of raw materials is rising dramatically. We are, simply put, running out of things to take and places to trash.
To survive in the long term, says Nadya Zhexembayeva, businesses need to make resource scarcity—the overfished ocean—their primary strategic consideration, not just a concern for their “green” division. Those managers who deeply understand and master this shift will be able to turn the new reality into a remarkable competitive advantage.
Overfished Ocean Strategy offers five essential principles for innovating in this new reality. Zhexembayeva shows how businesses have been finding new opportunities in what were once considered useless byproducts, discovering resource-conserving efficiencies up and down their value chain, transferring their expertise from physical products to services, and developing ways to rapidly try out and refine these new business models. A business owner herself, Zhexembayeva fills the book with examples of companies that are already successfully navigating the overfished ocean, from established corporations such as BMW, Microsoft and Puma to newcomers such as Lush, FLOOW2 and Sourcemap.
The linear, throwaway economy of today—in which we extract resources at one end, create products, and throw them away at the other—is rapidly coming to an end. A new economy is being born, one that takes this line and turns it into a circle. In every industry, creative minds are learning how to make money from reducing rather than expanding. Zhexembayeva shows how you can join them and avoid being left high and dry.
Author: Nadya Zhexembayeva
Stalwart and powerful, oxen can plow fields, haul stones, assist in logging, improve roads and demonstrate traditional farming techniques. And they are stronger, steadier, less expensive and easier to keep than draft horses. Here is the definitive guide to selecting, training, feeding and caring for working oxen. With proper care and training, oxen can be a dependable, economical alternative to heavy machinery on small working farms.
Author: DREW CONROY
When Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates moved into a duplex in a run-down part of Holyoke, Massachusetts, the tenth-of-an-acre lot was barren ground and bad soil, peppered with broken pieces of concrete, asphalt, and brick. The two friends got to work designing what would become not just another urban farm, but a "permaculture paradise" replete with perennial broccoli, paw paws, bananas, and moringa—all told, more than two hundred low-maintenance edible plants in an innovative food forest on a small city lot. The garden—intended to function like a natural ecosystem with the plants themselves providing most of the garden's needs for fertility, pest control, and weed suppression—also features an edible water garden, a year-round unheated greenhouse, tropical crops, urban poultry, and even silkworms. In telling the story of Paradise Lot, Toensmeier explains the principles and practices of permaculture, the choice of exotic and unusual food plants, the techniques of design and cultivation, and, of course, the adventures, mistakes, and do-overs in the process. Packed full of detailed, useful information about designing a highly productive permaculture garden, Paradise Lot is also a funny and charming story of two single guys, both plant nerds, with a wild plan: to realize the garden of their dreams and meet women to share it with. Amazingly, on both counts, they succeed. Show more Show less
Author: Eric Toensmeier, Jonathan Bate
This book documents the many reasons why raising livestock on a natural diet of grass is better for consumers, family farmers, the environment and the animals. Includes proof that meat, eggs and dairy products from grass-fed animals are richer in numerous vitamins and nutrients and lower in fat.
Today, more than ever before, our society is seeking ways to live more conscientiously. To help bring you the very best inspiration and information about greener, more sustainable lifestyles, Mother Earth News is recommending books to its readers. For more than 40 years, Mother Earth News has been North America’s “Original Guide to Living Wisely,” creating books and magazines for people with a passion for self-reliance and a desire to live in harmony with nature.
Author: JO ROBINSON