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More Than a Magazine … A Way of Life 

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How to Make Cheap Garden Beds
From instant beds to lasagna gardening, discover six methods for creating garden beds from scratch while easily incorporating what we see as the most important tenet of building new beds: keeping your planting areas separate from your walking areas. (Plus, find out why framed or raised beds may be purely optional!)


Home Wind Power: Yes, in My Backyard!
Residential wind power is renewable, non-polluting, and, in the right circumstances, can save you money. Homeowners and industry experts share firsthand knowledge of home-scale wind energy — including system options and economics — to help you determine whether it’s right for you.

Chickens in the Garden
As if fresh, nutritious eggs and homegrown roast chicken dinners weren’t reason enough to raise your own poultry: You can “recoop” much of the expense of raising chickens by putting their manure to work in your garden and enlisting your birds for organic pest control.

How to Choose the Best Greenhouse Kit
Backyard greenhouses feed the need to dirty our fingers while the rest of the garden is dormant, and even a small greenhouse can provide effective season extension by jump-starting seedlings in spring. Here’s how to select the best setup for your little acre.

Zero-Turn Mowers: Best Rides and Best Buys
Zero-turn mowers are faster and more efficient than other riding mower designs — but how do different models compare? To find out, we assigned 14 riders to evaluate 27 machines.

The White House Garden Sets a Powerful Example
The beautiful food garden on the White House lawn is helping promote a national conversation about the joys of gardening and the importance of eating fresh, local fruits and vegetables.

Build Your Own Car That Gets 100 Miles Per Gallon
What started in the summer of 2008 as an ambitious project to create a 100-miles-per-gallon sports car within a budget of $10,000 has come full circle. Inspired by classic race cars but grounded in frugality, MAX (MOTHER’s Automotive eXperiment) may be the world’s coolest DIY car.

How Plants Defend Themselves
The more science reveals about the complexity and sophistication of plants — their keen sensitivity to the environment, the extraordinary number of tricks they rally to fight off attackers — the less easily we can dismiss them as mere fiberfill backdrop to our world.


Get Growing, Crop by Crop
Vertical Gardening Tips
Grow a Butterfly Way Station
Build a Strawberry Barrel
4 Herb Garden Designs

News From MOTHER
Spread the Joys of Modern Homesteading

Reader letters about calculating garden payback, the resolve to homestead, outwitting wind with low tunnels, sorghum press plans, wind turbines, masonry heaters, contaminated soil, raising pigs, and more.

Green Gazette
Longest-Running GMO Safety Study Finds Tumors in Rats
The Future of Nuclear Power in Question
New Green Transportation Technology: Ford EcoBoost Engine, C-MAX Hybrid and Focus Electric
The U.S. Army Net-Zero Initiative
Find a Community-Supported Fishery
Stanford Organic Food Study Makes Waves

Crop at a Glance
All About Growing Grapes
Bring your “grape” expectations of homemade raisins, jelly, jam, juice, wine and more to fruition with our guide to growing, trellising, pruning and propagating the best grape varieties for your region.

Country Lore: Readers’ Tips to Live By
Broomcorn: A Multipurpose Grain Crop
Straw Wattles for Garden Bed Edging
Kitchen Ants Pest Control
Homemade Household Cleaner
Spiced-Up Recycled Glassware for the Kitchen
Simple Homemade Deodorant Spray
Recycled Bicycle Parts Make Handy Carts
Sturdy Clothespin Bag
Recycling Options: Sharing MOTHER
No-Heat Habanero Peppers
Tiller Magic: Chickens in the Garden

Beautiful and Abundant
Conscious Capitalism: Doing Well by Doing Good
Socially responsible companies have the power to do a lot of good in the world, contends one business owner who challenged the status quo and won big.

Ask Our Experts
What Cooking Oil Labels Really Mean
Growing Day-Neutral Strawberries
Using Wood Ash in the Garden
How to Get Free-Range Chickens to Roost in the Evening

Ellis Peters