In Bethel, New York, a developer that has specialized in large luxury homes is building modest houses to appeal to a younger crowd--more anecdotal evidence that smaller homes are here to stay.
Sweet Iced Tea is a delicious Southern tradition, but the concoctions we find on store shelves are often full of high fructose corn syrup and other nasties. In this recipe, fresh herbs add natural sweetness and help knock down the sugar content.
Noxious fumes aren’t conducive to happy cleaning. Give all your homemade cleaning solutions an invigorating and healthy boost by adding a few drops of pure plant essential oils. Heavenly!
Fresh basil, cilantro and parsley give this cold, tangy tomato soup fresh summertime flavor. You can make enough soup to feed a crowd in minutes. Enjoy!
Celebrate and spread the word about Fair Trade food and products with a World Fair Trade Day breakfast on May 14.
These tips mined from the second issue of Mother Earth News, published in 1970, will make your housekeeping more enjoyable and efficient. Mother has always known best.
Here are some highlights from my workshop, "Make Your Own Green Cleaners—for Pennies" at the Mother Earth News Fair. Throw away your chemical cleaners and get your home sparkling the healthy way!
James E. Churchill’s advice for finding and preparing chicory, mint, catnip and blackberries, from a 1970 issue of Mother Earth News, is timeless—and very timely right now. It's foraging season!
This mojito recipe from a surprising source--a Teahouse--is light, refreshing and not too sweet--perfect for a warm summer evening. It’s made with green tea for guilt-free imbibing.
In a wabi-sabi garden, plants are chosen because they belong in that climate, and they’re allowed to strut their stuff if they’re considerate of the plants around them. Both plants and guests are encouraged to meander and explore.
Though used like timber, bamboo is a grass that self-propagates as it spreads underground via a network of rhizomes. A white oak tree takes 120 years to grow to maturity; bamboo takes three-and-a-half to seven years.
The Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library lets patrons borrow and lend heirloom seeds and provides the information and support they need to grow them. Would you like to have a library like this in your town? You can start one!
TV personality and author Chris Kilham, founder of Medicine Hunter, believes that schisandra, cacao and San Pedro cactus could replace many pharmaceuticals—without the onerous side effects.
Ed and Joan Kobrinski left a large family home for a smaller, simpler cottage—and they’ve never looked back. Their tips for downsizing and living in smaller spaces could help make your transition easier.
You don't have to spend a fortune and buy nasty chemicals to run your dishwasher. Whip up powdered or liquid dishwasher detergent in minutes--and don't forget to add essential oil. You'll get a dose of aromatherapy while your dishes get clean.
The American Institute of Architects' most recent housing trends survey shows housing sizes inching back up again after the first declines in decades. Will people still want smaller houses in better economic times?
Wabi-sabi is never slobby, but we can allow ourselves to stop trying so hard and just appreciate our warm bed at the end of the day—whether it’s made or not.
Meditating has never come naturally to me, probably because of my goal-oriented approach. Wabi-sabi helped me see find peace in simple solitude (and long dog walks) instead.
Space and light are your home's most desirable ornaments. Here's how to clear the clutter so they can shine through.
The only one rule for wabi-style flowers? Strive for a natural look, with seasonal blooms and branches arranged as they are in the field. Let go of perfection. Your "arrangement" is a humble admission that we can't improve on nature.
Chef Gordon Hamersley's Vegetable Tian is perfect for right now. Make use of late summer's bounty of tomatoes, squash and eggplant--and you'll never miss the meat.
Going meatless is a breeze when corn is at its late-summer best and the garden is bursting with squashes. Southwestern calabacitas is a delicious, hearty summer stew that makes the most of this bountiful season.
When my former boss suggested we photograph my annual summer solstice party, I quietly panicked and then got busy. Borrow some of our ideas for celebrating the longest day of the year--lavishly or lazily.
TV personality and author Chris Kilham, founder of Medicine Hunter, says schisandra, cacao and San Pedro cactus could replace many common pharmaceuticals--without the onerous side effects.
Make homegrown tomatoes the star of tonight’s dinner with Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion. Made with just three ingredients, this sweet, rich sauce is a classic.
Victoria Gazeley considers her revitalized 650-square-foot homesteader’s cabin, located on 7 acres of fertile earth in British Columbia, a blessing. “I absolutely love living here,” she says.
This home in the Florida Keys stays cool by capturing prevailing breezes and taking advantage of passive cooling techniques such as open, screened walls and a reflective roof.
Natural beauty is priceless. We can take in and appreciate a great view because we don’t have any hope of owning it, and we can’t manipulate it. With our egos out of the way, we can simply observe.
Wabi-sabi has infused Western design for centuries—though its advocates rarely knew it. It’s in the plain, efficient homes built by the Shakers, the unsentimental Arts and Crafts style, Frank Lloyd Wright's Prairie houses and midcentury furniture.
Elaborate, ostentatious Tea ceremony had become the norm in 16th century Japan when Sen no Rikyu proved that simplicity is ultimately more luxurious with his rustic, minimalist Tea ceremony--which endures to this day.
The Sacred Seeds Sanctuary in Costa Rica, provides an opportunity to help endangered plants adapt to and thrive in changing climate conditions.
Chemical antibacterials, including triclosan, are health and environmental hazards. You don't have to bring these nasties into your home. Put hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil and grapefruit seed extract to work killing germs and disinfect.
These three homes--in Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina--use passive cooling techniques to eliminate the need for mechanical air conditioning. Check them out and learn a few tricks for reducing--or eliminating--your AC bills this summer.
Feeling claustrophobic? Before you start looking for more space, make the most of what you have by containing clutter, choosing the right furnishings and color schemes, and creating new "rooms" with dividers.
During farm tours at Finca Luna Nueva, an organic farm and resort in Costa Rica,, guests learn about the biodynamic preparations and compost that feed the vibrant, tasty produce they eat for dinner. The resort is connecting tourists to their food.
With fall here, try these vegan versions of classic comfort foods: nachos, sloppy Joes and Swedish meatballs from Hilary’s Eat Well.
A wabi-sabi home just feels right, without pretense or compromise—like our grandmothers’ Depression era homes, where things were patched and mended but scrubbed and clean, handmade or chosen and paid for with care.