Living Sustainably

Aquaponics | Rain Harvesting | Composting | Other Green Products

Archive for May, 2010

New Podcast: Organic fertilizer with Worm Composting

Hear our new podcast on wormcomposting, and get our DIY guide for free. Learn how to compost your food scraps and harvest rich fertilizer at Free download of our DIY Guide. Additional resources for worms and bedding.


Two Buckets on a Mission

Is it possible two cheap plastic buckets can help reduce global malnutrition?

Sounds crazy, but there’s some amazing technology that can be created by combining two cheap 5-gallon buckets along with some other low cost or free materials. The result is a low cost foolproof system of growing food.


What is Spirulina?

Spirulina is a blue-green algae. It is a simple, one-celled form of algae that thrives in warm, alkaline fresh-water bodies. The name “spirulina” is derived from the Latin word for “helix” or “spiral”; denoting the physical configuration of the organism when it forms swirling, microscopic strands.

Spirulina is being developed as the “food of the future” because of its amazing ability to synthesize high-quality concentrated food more efficiently than any other algae. Most notably, Spirulina is 65 to 71 percent complete protein, with all essential amino acids in perfect balance. In comparison, beef is only 22 percent protein.

Spirulina has a photosynthetic conversion rate of 8 to 10 percent, compared to only 3 percent in such land-growing plants as soybeans.

Spirulina also provides high concentrations of many other nutrients – amino acids, chelated minerals, pigmentations, rhamnose sugars (complex natural plant sugars), trace elements, enzymes – that are in an easily assimilable form.

Read more at,, and learn to grow your own at

Build your own photoreactor for growing spirulina and other algae for food or fuel:

A Quantum Leap in Holistic Nutrition with Bio-Algae Concentrates

by Roland Thomas, BSc, ND, of Quantum Leap Wellness


Sprouting for ease and health

Growing sprouts is an amazingly simple way to grow a fantastically healthy food. Sprouts contain all the essential amino acids, vitamins, enzymes, minerals and sugars in one complete package. Here’s how to grow them:

Sprouting your own SproutsMore DIY How To Projects


Introduction to Permaculture

Will Hooker’s (Professor, NC State University) Introduction to Permaculture

Permaculture means “permanent culture,” (or “permanent agriculture”) and …”is the conscious design and maintenance of cultivated ecosystems that have the diversity, stability, and resilience of a natural ecosystem.” (Bill Mollison) This course will explore, through lectures, online discussions, and required projects, a design/thinking methodology that seeks to provide for our physical needs, food, water, shelter, energy, etc., while doing so in an environmentally friendly, sustainable manner.


Humana Health by Design Contest

We have entered our DIY Water Purifier in the Humana Health by Design competition. We need votes to win the contest. Please review our design, vote, and ask your friends to vote!


Clean, Renewable Cow Power

What’s better than a cow that supplies fresh, wholesome milk? Well, how about one that also provides a clean and renewable source of energy? As owners of the Vermont-based Pleasant Valley Farm, Mark and Amanda St. Pierre are supplying one of the oldest sources of energy ever used by humans – sludge. As their family-run farm produces more than 40 million pounds of milk annually, it is also producing enough sludge to generate approximately 3.5 million KWH (kilowatt-hours) of clean, renewable electricity that they then send to Central Vermont Public Service (CVPS), the Vermont utility that set up this award-winning program to assist dairy farmers in turning manure into electricity. So community members can rest assured that their source of electricity is coming from a clean and renewable source. In fact in the United States, biomass energy (energy obtained from plants and animal matter) provides 15 times more energy than wind and solar combined. Now that’s better than any cup of milk…even chocolate milk!

See more at

Working For Green is a video-based web community showcasing innovative ways to save money and find meaningful work during this challenging economic time. We’re about inspiring and connecting others by sharing your ideas, videos and success stories about everyday Americans who are motivating others without relying solely on government or corporate assistance.

See more at


Composting Humanure with Worms

A few years ago we were composting our food scraps in plastic tubs indoors, as winter in Upstate NY can get as low as -40 degrees. We eventually had eight 52 quart tubs going, and started feeding the worms the output of our Jenkin’s Bucket Toilet. We used coconut coir as our cover material. The worm compost was used in our Square Foot Garden beds, and grew some wonderful crops. We made a video describing the bucket toilet on Youtube. I recently found others who do a similar process as we did. It’s a good read, and an important part of closing the nutrient cycle and eliminating pollution, as well as reducing your water usage. It’s a great complement to rainwater harvesting.


Free subscription to DownToTheRoots Magazine

Our good friend Tenzi puts out an amazing paper magazine for back to basics homesteading. She sent this message:

Due to many people saying that they would LOVE to get the magazine, but could not afford it due to being on a pension or out of work, we worked out a deal with them that if they got 5 other people to subscribe, then they would get a yearly subscription for free.

This has worked out so well, that I am opening it up to the general public. Get 5 of your friends or family to subscribe and you get yours for free.


Happy 30’th Birthday, Pacman!

We are working on a podcast on worm composting that will be uploaded this weekend, along with instructions for building and operating your own worm composter. We missed last week because we were out of town.

In the meantime, since this is the 30’th anniversary of Pacman, we wanted to share a memory. 25 years ago I worked for Billotta Music, a vending company near Rochester NY, repairing arcade games, and Pacman was one of our games we serviced. It was a cool job, as playing the games was an important part of troubleshooting and repairing. Have fun bringing back the memories with this playable tribute!