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Archive for October, 2006


[Self Reliance in Troubled Times] More gardening titles

In addition to the Square Foot Gardening title we are re-reading, we picked up a copy of Ruth Stout’s “No-Work Garden Book” from the local library book sale for $1. A fascinating title that claims that you can garden with little effort, we have come to believe and agree, although her ideas on composting in place have not taken hold here, as we enjoy our composting bins and the dark earth that results, and use the end product where it’s needed. Much like Gus Portokalos from My big Fat Greek Wedding’s use of windex on everthing and anything, Ruth’s answer to every gardening ill was mulch, to great success. A wonderful review of this great lady and her ideas can be found at Homestead.Org


Posted by Steve Spence to Self Reliance in Troubled Times at 10/29/2006 04:24:00 PM

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More gardening titles

In addition to the Square Foot Gardening title we are re-reading, we picked up a copy of Ruth Stout’s “No-Work Garden Book” from the local library book sale for $1. A fascinating title that claims that you can garden with little effort, we have come to believe and agree, although her ideas on composting in place have not taken hold here, as we enjoy our composting bins and the dark earth that results, and use the end product where it’s needed. Much like Gus Portokalos from My big Fat Greek Wedding’s use of windex on everthing and anything, Ruth’s answer to every gardening ill was mulch, to great success. A wonderful review of this great lady and her ideas can be found at Homestead.Org

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[Self Reliance in Troubled Times] Square Foot Gardening – maximizing space & effort

We are re-reading one of our favorite books, Mel Bartholomew’s Square Foot Gardening, and are intrigued by a question he raises in his introduction; “Does anyone know the real reason people garden?”. For us, the answer is easy. We want a sure supply of affordable healthy food. We want to be sure that our food is chemical free, available when we need it, and won’t break our budget keeping us fed. Mel shows how in a single 4′ x 4′ square, you can grow in two months the following supplies:

  • 32 carrots
  • 12 bunches of leaf lettuce
  • 18 bunches of spinach
  • 16 radishes
  • 16 scallions
  • 16 beets
  • 9 Japanese turnips
  • 5 pounds of peas
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 4 heads of romaine lettuce
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 head of broccoli

If you need more, grow another square, and many more vegetable types are explained in his book. His method almost eliminates the hours typically spent maintaining a garden in a healthy weedless state. Well worth the read.


Posted by Steve Spence to Self Reliance in Troubled Times at 10/29/2006 06:55:00 AM

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Square Foot Gardening – maximizing space & effort

We are re-reading one of our favorite books, Mel Bartholomew’s Square Foot Gardening, and are intrigued by a question he raises in his introduction; “Does anyone know the real reason people garden?”. For us, the answer is easy. We want a sure supply of affordable healthy food. We want to be sure that our food is chemical free, available when we need it, and won’t break our budget keeping us fed. Mel shows how in a single 4′ x 4′ square, you can grow in two months the following supplies:

  • 32 carrots
  • 12 bunches of leaf lettuce
  • 18 bunches of spinach
  • 16 radishes
  • 16 scallions
  • 16 beets
  • 9 Japanese turnips
  • 5 pounds of peas
  • 1 head of cabbage
  • 4 heads of romaine lettuce
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 head of broccoli

If you need more, grow another square, and many more vegetable types are explained in his book. His method almost eliminates the hours typically spent maintaining a garden in a healthy weedless state. Well worth the read.

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[Green-Trust Off Grid] Permaculture Readings

Our latest read is a book I borrowed from Jim Juczak at Woodhenge. It’s called Permaculture – Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability. It’s a comprehensive journey into the logic behind living sustainably, and opens up new thought processes for us, leading us in many new directions. It’s written by the co-founder of the permaculture movement, David Holmgren.


Posted by Steve Spence to Green-Trust Off Grid at 10/24/2006 05:45:00 PM

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Permaculture Readings

Our latest read is a book I borrowed from Jim Juczak at Woodhenge. It’s called Permaculture – Principles & Pathways Beyond Sustainability. It’s a comprehensive journey into the logic behind living sustainably, and opens up new thought processes for us, leading us in many new directions. It’s written by the co-founder of the permaculture movement, David Holmgren.

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Shane & Maria’s Eco-Tour

Our new friends, Shane and Maria are visiting for a few days. They are on a tour of intentional communities and organic farms, and have visited interesting places including The Farm, Twin Oaks, and Earth Haven. You can read about their travels in their veggie fueled camper at Eco Tour of North America. In Shane’s words:

The reason for the trips is to explore ecologically-oriented community projects (sometimes called “eco-villages”) and learn about how people are attempting to live in greater harmony with each other and with Nature. Follow along on the journey. Write and ask questions. The sharing of this information can and will create change in our world. Thanks for your support! Shane

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[Self Reliance in Troubled Times] Todd wood-fired cook stove arrived

Our new Todd wood-fired cook stove has arrived, and is being assembled. The chimney pipe is back-ordered, but should be here soon. We look forward to cooking Thanksgiving dinner with it, and hope to learn how to use it before that day arrives.


Posted by Steve Spence to Self Reliance in Troubled Times at 10/24/2006 05:32:00 PM

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Todd wood-fired cook stove arrived

Our new Todd wood-fired cook stove has arrived, and is being assembled. The chimney pipe is back-ordered, but should be here soon. We look forward to cooking Thanksgiving dinner with it, and hope to learn how to use it before that day arrives.

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[Green Trust Fun] New Reading Material

I picked up two “new to me” magazines this weekend on the way home from Woodhenge, The Backwoodsman and Permaculture Magazine. The Backwoodsman had two great articles on reusing old drums, one for a wood fueled cookstove and the other for a small kayak type boat with outriggers. Permculture also had a article on reusing old drums, a bit whimsical claims the author, but intriguing none the less. Permaculture also had a good article on building compost bins out of old pallets, similar to the Joe Jenkins design.


Posted by Steve Spence to Green Trust Fun at 10/16/2006 02:40:00 PM

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