A reel mower is the type of mower your grandfather may have used It consists of a series of blades that are spun when you push the mower across the lawn. It requires no oil, gas and works great when you take proper care of your new tool.
There is a widely held belief that organic food is better for you in many ways when compared to conventionally grown produce. There are three main claims out there that I want to explain in a little bit of detail.
Yes you can compost meat, bones and other dairy products if you want to. I know that there is a fairly strong myth out there that you can't do it for a variety of reasons. But with the proper precautions it is certainly possible to do. There are always a few concerns that come up with composting items such as these. The most common concerns are smell, animals and health and safety.
Composting your leftover food scraps in the winter can be a challenge. With the cold temperatures you can't get things to decompose like you want them to outside. So that leaves you with a few options left on the table.
Despite the fact that heating your house with wood does release CO2 into the atmosphere it does essentially amount to zero emissions when you take into account that there are new trees ready to absorb whatever CO2 is emitted from your chimney. So if you harvest the wood in an ecological responsible manner then then firewood can be a very eco friendly heating material of choice.
There are 3 types of wood heaters that you can have in your home, the fireplace, wood stove and masonry heater/stove. These three technologies all have their strengths and weaknesses and it depends on what your are looking for in a heating system
Getting ready for the garden this coming spring is more about what plan you put into place this winter than it is about tilling the soil and planting the seeds. Getting a solid plan into place can save you a lot of headache in the spring.
The first thing you should do is take a look at notes you should have been taking during the summer. Good notes along with pictures will act as a record of what you had success and failures with. For example I kept a log that I put in planting dates, germination dates, rainfall and production success of plant varieties.
Have you ever had trouble starting seeds in the spring or fall or maybe in the middle of winter if your crazy like me. Well I know I have and I have been searching for a long time for effective seed starting methods that don't involve purchasing something custom made for the job. Items like the Jiffy Greenhouse or the Hydrofarm Germination Station are wonderful tools but they don't provide the versatility I like.
The ability of seeds to endure harsh conditions and only germinate when the conditions are good is a miracle of the natural world. A seed is essentially life in a pill form that is just waiting to spring into action as soon as it can.
Cultivation has been a tried and true practice for agriculture since its beginnings. But in recent years we have begun to understand what the long term negative effects it can have on your soil. The negatives are not little ones either and repairing them will take long term changes in how we conduct agriculture. While there are many different consequences to much tillage I am just going to quickly gloss over three of the most common ones.
Over the years I have read and watched as many sustainable lifestyle books and documentaries as I could in order to find what I could be doing in order to live a more sustainable existence. While I couldn't begin to narrow down my favorite books as there are so many. I do have just two documentaries that I can place among my favorites.
When it comes to your soil you can usually never do enough to improve your soils ability to provide you with beautiful, nutritious, sustainably grown food. I say usually because it is possible to overdo everything if you really put your mind to it. But with a well thought out plan you can easily and consistently improve and maintain your soil at its peak performance. I find the best way to lay out a soil improvement plan is to do it by the season.
For thousands of years soil fertility was maintained using a natural fertilizer widely available around the world.
This fertilizer is known as poop.
That's right I said poop. I know that to the modern sensibilities the idea of using poop to grow food is probably a little uncomfortable. But when you compare it to the the other option we have been using it really doesn't seem that bad.
Soil under modern agriculture has been reduced to a being a sponge that is there is absorb artificial fertilizers and pesticides instead of a living breathing structure. While chemicals can produce a amazing crop with great yields it has been shown that they suffer in flavor and nutrition.
The growing trend of organic farming has brought about a new interest in maintaining soil fertility without the use of chemicals. This can be done with two different but very complimentary techniques.
Soil organic matter is added to the soil through the addition of decaying plants and animals. But to increase soil organic matter can be a tricky proposition when you are using the soil for gardening or farming. The very tools used to plant, weed and harvest a crop will work against you if your goal is to add organic matter. Organic matter present in the soil is a combination of carbon and nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, magnesium and what ever else might be floating around in living things. The nutrients/minerals are used by all living things as building block for various structures that are contained within them. If you look at silica for example, it is used by plants to,
Organic matter is a essential part of soil that gets overlooked in many conversations about soil. While most people will be talking about soil pH balance, its composition or how well it grows crops they will leave out organic matter.
This is a mistake.
Hello my name is Josh Larson and I am the creator of the Green Living Library. Here on the blog you will find updates to content found in the Green Living Library as well as stories from those living the sustainable life already.