A Quick Guide to Plastics Building with Secondhand Stuff by Chris Peterson Creative Publishing international, 2011
Sustainable Living
Sustainable Living

A Quick Guide to Plastics

Chones / Shutterstock.com Most communities have decent recycling programs, some of which are non-sortable and can cut your trash by a full 60 percent or more—but there are still moments when I agonize over the materials that get thrown Read More

Straw Bale Garden Update
Gardening
Gardening

Straw Bale Garden Update

Mark Johanson Finally this spinach plant and the other plants in my straw bale garden are getting a bit of sunshine that is almost summer-like, and they are loving it. Weeds would be loving it too, but luckily in a SBG, weeds are a Read More

The Red Currants of Ingolstadt edible landscape
Gardening
Gardening

The Red Currants of Ingolstadt

Wikimedia Commons As a child, I would often travel with my mother to Germany during summer vacation to visit her parents and extended family, of all whom still lived there. My mother grew up in Ingolstadt, a Bavarian city north of Munich Read More

Straw Bale Garden Update Mark Johanson
Gardening
Gardening

Straw Bale Garden Update

Mark Johanson Kale and other cole vegetables love cool weather, so my SBG-grown kale has had a very happy week. I wish I could say the same for all the people around here whose patience for the arrival of an actual spring has nearly Read More

Trellises, Planters & Raised Beds (Cool Springs Press, 2013)
Gardening
Gardening

How to Make a Copper Coil Trellis

rau+barber / From Trellises, Planters & Raised Beds (Cool Springs Press, 2013) Absolutely elegant, this steeple-shaped trellis is fashioned from ordinary copper tubing and copper wire. Since my "garden" consists of a pot near my Read More

How to Make a Starter Set of Power Tools Home Skills Carpentry
Home Repair + Improvement
Home Repair + Improvement

How to Make a Starter Set of Power Tools

© dondoc-foto / Shutterstock.com Even if you are just starting on your march toward self-sufficiency, you've likely spent a fair amount of time wondering which tools you'll need. It's a fun question. In fact, for a lot of us, acquiring Read More

Straw Bale Garden Update Mark Johanson
Gardening
Gardening

Straw Bale Garden Update

If you're wondering whether your straw bale garden is working correctly, there are several clues that should assure even the most worrisome of doubters. First among these are heat and odor, which I discussed last week. If the garden is Read More

How I Made My Son Love Vegetables
Gardening
Gardening

How I Made My Son Love Vegetables

Nichole Schiele Most parents I know dread the grocery store. Food manufacturers spend billions of dollars to bring you food and packaging that is bright, loud and—often times—emblazoned with cartoon characters. Parents usually succumb and Read More

Straw Bale Garden Update
Gardening
Gardening

Straw Bale Garden Update

After weeks of careful planning, research, and preparation, the big moment arrived. It was time to plant the garden. For some reason, this phase of gardening that seems so pleasant and satisfying for some fills me with apprehension. My Read More

Music to Mulch By
Home Repair + Improvement
Home Repair + Improvement

Music to Mulch By

© Ilyashenko Oleksiy / Shutterstock.com Previously I wrote a post listing the five gardening/landscaping tools that I can't live without. I should have included my MP3 player and radio in this list because whether I am indoors or out, when Read More

6 Tips to Get Started Composting
Sustainable Living
Sustainable Living

6 Tips to Get Started Composting

© Alison Hancock / Shutterstock.com Even the most casual gardener knows the value of using compost as a mulch and soil amendment. Compost, for the completely uninitiated, is a rich organic substance that is obtained when you let ordinary Read More

Straw Bale Garden Update Mark Johanson
Gardening
Gardening

Straw Bale Garden Update

With my bales in position on a strip of landscape fabric, I started the conditioning right away. Conditioning is essential to the SBG process. Basically, it involves drenching your bales with nitrogen-heavy fertilizer to stimulate the Read More