Living Sustainably

Aquaponics | Rain Harvesting | Composting | Other Green Products

Archive for March, 2010

Easiest way to Garden?

Vegetable gardening is becoming a hot topic due to rising food prices and concerns over food quality yet new-comers experience more problems and frustrations than results. We would like to share a solution that we personally approve of.

I’d like you to watch the following video about Food4Wealth which has been developed to help anyone, anywhere, setup, grow and produce fresh organic food in their backyard with the least amount of effort and the highest yields. Food4Wealth is an initiative to take vegetable gardening to the masses, and given the world situation, the demand for such assistance is growing.

Food4Wealth is at the forefront of Ecological Gardening and is so effective that any person can achieve the type of results that any veteran gardener would dream of. Most importantly, people who follow the Food4wealth method will learn to value their connection with the earth’s natural processes and work with them. Food4Wealth is a product that has been developed to teach, inspire and simplify the steps to self-sustainability.

Food4Wealth has been written by Jonathan White, an Environmental Scientist and professional horticulturalist. This is an authentic, credible and respected product written by an industry expert with 20 years of hands-on experience. Food4Wealth has been featured in September/October 2009 issues of G Magazine ( and has hundreds of satisfied and inspired members all over the world.


Homestead Resources

Looking for information on raising small animals and gardening at home? Need to learn to be more self sufficient? Here are some good resources that will help. Grow your own food (and fertilizer). These resources are personally tested and recommended by us!

Hobby Farm, Livestock & Gardening

Countryside & Small Stock Journal

Storey Publishing

City Farmer – Urban Agriculture

Backyard Farmer


“Down to the Roots” Homesteading Magazine


Green-Trust.Org now in 38 languages

Scroll down the left side of our website, and pick the flag of your preferred language. It’s not perfect, but if English is not your primary language, this feature may be helpful.


Full of Rubbish Ideas?

Ben Fogle inspires kids to create weird and wonderful designs from waste!

Ben Fogle and Britain’s leading ethically sourced coffee brand Kenco today launch the Kenco Eco Refill Young Eco Designer competition, encouraging children and their families to reduce and reuse waste in an imaginative way and become a new generation of ‘upcyclers’. Whether it’s turning old plastic bottles into robots or coffee packaging into origami flowers, Kenco is calling kids aged 6 to 12 to make or design something that can be transformed from waste into a new object and contend for the exciting Young Eco Designer 2010 title.

The search is on!

With an eye for originality and passion for a challenge, Ben Fogle will lead the Young Eco Designer competition, inspiring kids around the UK to embrace their inventive potential and discover a fun way to avoid sending rubbish to landfill. Parents will be invited to send in their kids’ unique upcycled designs to Kenco[1] before 30th April to be in with a chance of winning the Young Eco Designer 2010 title and seeing their own design transformed into a reality!

New York, New York!

As well as the coveted title, the lucky winner will gain a spectacular trip to New York City with their family, where they will have a unique opportunity to visit TerraCycle, Kenco’s ‘upcycling’ partner, and see firsthand where rubbish including Kenco Eco Refill packs is already getting turned into upcycled products such as pencil cases, bags and backpacks.

Bored on your holiday?

Over the Easter holidays, Ben will be touring the country with Kenco in an upcycled London Routemaster bus to get youngsters on board and provide them with upcycling inspiration. The Kenco tour bus will be stopping off at Chester Zoo, London Zoo and Longleat Safari Park[2] , where families are encouraged to come along and get those creative juices flowing!

“Kids have the most amazing imagination so I can’t wait to see what designs they come up with. Young Eco Designer is a fantastic competition for children and their families to be involved in, and shows how we can re-think the idea of rubbish”, says Ben Fogle, head judge on Young Eco Designer. “I’ll even be giving it a go myself!”

“This is a great way of helping children learn about the environment in a fun and creative way. In partnership with TerraCycle, we’re continuously encouraging people to upcycle their empty Kenco Eco Refill packs which have 97% less packaging weight than Kenco glass jars[3]. We’d love to see kids from all parts of the country getting involved too and showing us their best upcycling designs!” says Toby Smart, Kenco Brand Manager.

To get involved, submit your ideas by the 30th April. For more information and an entry form, visit

[1] or Kenco Young Eco Designer, Freepost RRSS-JEYZ-KCZB, Concorde Building, South Marston Park, Swindon SN3 4TQ
[2] Chester Zoo 3/4/5th April ’10; London Zoo 8/9/10th April ’10; Longleat 17/18th April ’10 – Ben will be on-hand at Chester Zoo on the 3rd April and Longleat Safari Park on the 18th April
[3] Per gram of coffee


The best resources for biofuel info

In our travels, we have come across some amazing resources for learning about biofuels. I will list our favorites below for a few of the major types of biofuels we have experience in:

Ethanol – Alcohol Can Be A Gas

BioMethane – The Complete Biogas Handbook

WVO – Sliding Home

Biodiesel – Biodiesel Homebrew Guide

Wood – A Guide to Residential Wood Heating (free)

These are not the only good resources out there, just some of our favorites. Please discuss these and your favorites below in the comments section.


Biofuels: Biodiesel & Vegetable Oil

This week’s podcast deals with episode 1 of our biofuels series: Biodiesel & Vegetable Oil. We outline what it takes to run a diesel engine on vegetable oil and how to make biodiesel, two common alternative fuels for diesel engines. We also talk about pressing your own oils from oilseeds, uses for the leftover “cake”, and making a biodiesel processor. Read and hear more at Email us for our free veggie conversion ebook. Click here for a free ebook on making biodiesel!


Make your own vegetable oil with this simple press

From the free “Guide to making edible oils” at

During his career G. Blaak received numerous requests from farmers, development agencies and local authorities how to improve farmers income. Of course the introduction of improved varieties, better agronomic practices and crop protection help only temporarily the individual farmer until his colleagues catch up with him. A more permanent income improvement can be made by transformation of the crop on the farm. In general a big profit (value added) can be realized that is otherwise realized by the large scale processors. Successful examples of on-farm transformation are fermentation of fresh cocoa pods to cocoa beans, sugarcane to brown sugar, fresh tea leaves to green tea, essential oils by steam distillation of freshly harvested aromatic plants, making chocolate from cocoa beans, latex from rubber trees to ribbed smoked sheets and oilseeds to oil and press cake to a protein rich animal feed.


Weekly Podcast: Skills Development

The latest podcast is up, and this episode is on skills development. Check it out at


Grinding wheat into flour

Here’s the video of our Lehman’s Best grain mill in operation we promised. The smell of fresh baking bread is driving me crazy! Here is the recipe:


The “Mr. Fusion” tabletop methane digester and supercooker

Dr. Karve taught us that an animals gut takes fresh food and converts it to methane gas much more efficiently than trying to make methane gas from spent food (manure). We have been developing a 5 gallon tabletop methane digester. This unit runs on kitchen scraps run through a blender to make a slurry, and is a continuous digester. It uses two 5 gallon plastic pails for the digester and gas collector, and the supercooker consists of a 5 gallon metal pail with a methane burner in the bottom and a metal stockpot inserted like a crockpot. It not only cooks from the bottom, but from the sides as well. A lot more heat from less methane. We will be adding this info to our existing methane digester package at, and early documentation will be available to those who help with the development progress. If you donate $5 at (put methane supercooker in the notes), we will send you updates, and the completed plans and video’s.