Category Archives: Sustainable Living

Hardening seedlings in a mini hoop-house

After the devastation of last year’s seedling fiasco (read about that here), I was more than a little anxious about hardening off my seedlings this year. My mini hoop-houses (more about that here) have been working so well this spring that I decided to construct something similar to protect my tender tomato and pepper seedlings during their hardening off period. … Read more »

Sustainability through the family garden

I managed to set up 2 mini hoop-houses and planted a number of lettuce seedlings, yet April was a cold and windy start to the gardening season that left me longing for more.  So far May has made up for it in spades!  I’ve been out in the garden practically every day for the last week, working on preparing one… Read more »

23 early spring vegetable crops

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Many American gardeners cling fast to the idea that the growing season doesn’t begin until Memorial Day weekend. Yet in Europe gardeners use a variety of methods to extend their season and increase their garden’s harvest. Thanks to Elliot Coleman’s book Four Season Harvest, more and more Americans are discovering the possibilities.  Even in Maine you can get a jump… Read more »

How to build a mini hoop-house

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I’m a big fan of season extenders like cold-frames and mini hoop-houses for the family garden. Last year I managed to erect a mini greenhouse of sorts, using PVC and plastic, and with that I hardened off my seedlings in anticipation of the growing season.  This year I not only want to use that method to protect tender seedlings, but… Read more »

How to make your own laundry soap

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diy laundry soap

If you’ve never made your own laundry soap you don’t know what you’re missing.  The laundry soaps that are available commercially are expensive, and filled with ingredients that I’m not even going to attempt to pronounce. This laundry soap is very economical and simple to make.  It works just as well as anything you’ll buy at the store, with the… Read more »

What are the benefits of using beeswax?

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what are the benefits of beeswax

  Since man first began robbing bee-trees for honey, beeswax has been a highly prized commodity treasured for it’s many uses and healthful benefits.  Beeswax is utilitarian, medicinal, and beautifying. Beeswax through the ages Both ancient Egyptians and Persians used beeswax when embalming the dead.  When they conquered Corsica in 181 BC, the Romans demanded beeswax as tribute.  And in… Read more »

10 tips to help you stretch your meat-budget

dried beans

Previously I ranted about budget-meat versus local and sustainably raised meats.  I’m not going to rehash the topic–but you can read that post here if you are so inclined.  Basically my point was that if you’re truly committed to avoiding the factory farmed meats offered at the grocery store, there are ways to eat sustainably produced meats with a clear… Read more »

What really demonizes Monsanto

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It was brought to my attention recently that Monsanto is not bad–it’s just a corporation looking to make money.  At the recent MSBA meeting Monsanto affiliate Jerry Hayes spoke about the company’s desire for sustainable agriculture (you can read that post here), but if that is true then there are some seriously misguided people leading that corporate entity.  In my… Read more »

10 tips on how to avoid GMOs

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grass-fed meat

With genetically modified ingredients in just about everything processed, it can be a daunting challenge to avoid them when you go to the grocery store.  It’s startling when you begin to realize how pervasive GM-ingredients are–it seems like they are in all of the things you love and have been eating for years!  But with a little dedication and your… Read more »