Make your home a safe haven with efficient design, chemical-free cleaning methods and home organization tips.
Browse more great healthy home content in the Mother Earth Living archives.
Winter Home Comfort
8 Household Uses for Cloves
Beyond baking and pomander balls, learn the many ways to use cloves in your home.
How to Reuse, Reduce and Recycle when Building a Home
Houzz shares the future of home building and provides ideas for reducing the impact your home has on the environment.
Try This at Home: Catch a Star (Anise)
Discover a few fun uses for star Anise.
Editor-in-Chief Jessica Kellner answers the question "What is the best natural disinfectant for hard-to-kill kitchen germs such as salmonella and E. coli?"
Barbara Damrosch and Eliot Coleman are America's foremost organic gardeners (and authorities). Damrosch wrote The Garden Primer, and Coleman is the author of the bible for organic gardening, The New Organic Grower. Today they form the face of the locavore movement, operating their extraordinary Four Season Farm in Maine. And now they've written the book on how to grow what you eat, and cook what you grow.
The Four Season Farm Gardener's Cookbook is two books in one. It's a complete four-season cookbook with 120 recipes from Damrosch, a master cook as well as master gardener. She shows how to maximize the fruits (and vegetables) of your labors, from Stuffed Squash Blossom Fritters to Red Thai Curry with Fall Vegetables to Hazelnut Torte with Summer Berries.
And it's a step-by-step garden guide that works no matter how big or small your plot, with easy-to-follow instructions and plans for different gardens. It covers size of the garden, nourishing the soil, planning ahead, and the importance of rotating crops ... yes, even in your backyard. And, at the core, you'll find individual instructions on the crops, from the hardy and healthful cabbage family to 14 essential culinary herbs.
Eating doesn't get any more local than your own backyard.
Want to read more? Check out this book review!
The Weekend Homesteader guides readers to self-sufficiency, month by month. Whether it's January or June you'll find exciting, short projects that help you dip your toes into the vast ocean of homesteading without getting overwhelmed. If you need to fit homesteading into a few hours each weekend and would like to have fun doing it, these projects will be right up your alley, no matter if you live on a 40-acre farm, own a postage-stamp lawn in suburbia, or call a high-rise home.
You'll learn about backyard chicken care, how to choose the best mushroom and berry species, and why and how to plant a no-till garden that heals the soil while providing nutritious food. Permaculture techniques will turn your homestead into a vibrant ecosystem and attract native pollinators while converting our society's waste into high-quality compost and mulch. Meanwhile, enjoy the fruits of your labor right away as you learn the basics of cooking and eating seasonally, then preserve homegrown produce for later by drying, canning, freezing or simply filling your kitchen cabinets with storage vegetables. As you become more self-sufficient, you'll save seeds, prepare for power outages and tear yourself away from a full-time job, while building a supportive and like-minded community. You won't be completely eliminating your reliance on the grocery store, but you will be plucking low-hanging (and delicious!) fruits out of your own garden by the time all 40-eight projects are complete.
America's once-vibrant small-to-midsize cities-Syracuse, N.Y.; Worcester, Mass.; Akron, Ohio; Flint, Mich.; Rockford, Ill.; and others-increasingly resemble urban wastelands. Gutted by deindustrialization, outsourcing and middle-class flight, disproportionately devastated by metro freeway systems that laid waste to the urban fabric and displaced the working poor, and struggling with pockets of poverty reminiscent of postcolonial squalor, small industrial cities have become invisible to a public distracted by the Wall Street (big city) versus Main Street (small town) matchup. These cities would seem to be part of America's past, not its future. And yet, journalist and historian Catherine Tumber argues in this provocative book, America's gritty Rust Belt cities could play a central role in a greener, low-carbon, relocalized future.
As we wean ourselves from fossil fuels and realize the environmental costs of suburban sprawl, we will see that small cities offer many assets for sustainable living not shared by their big city or small town counterparts: population density (and the capacity for more); fertile, nearby farmland available for local agriculture, windmills and solar farms; and manufacturing infrastructure and workforce skill that can be repurposed for the production of renewable-energy technology.
Tumber, who has spent much of her life in Rust Belt cities, traveled to 25 cities in the Northeast and Midwest-from Buffalo, N.Y., to Peoria, Ill., to Detroit to Rochester, N.Y.-interviewing planners, city officials and activists, and weaving their stories into this exploration of small-scale urbanism. Smaller cities can be a critical part of a sustainable future and a productive green economy. Small, Gritty, and Green will help us develop the moral and political imagination we need to realize this.