Living Sustainably

Aquaponics | Rain Harvesting | Composting | Other Green Products

Archive for May, 2011

Memorial Day Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father,

As we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for the freedoms we enjoy every day, we think of how they have followed in the footsteps of your son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Please hold our servicemen and women in your strong arms. Cover them with your sheltering grace and your presence as they stand in the gap for our protection.

We also remember the families of our troops. We ask for your unique blessings to fill their homes, and we pray your peace, provision, and strength will fill their lives.

May the members of our armed forces be supplied with courage to face each day and may they trust in the Lord’s mighty power to accomplish each task. Let our military brothers and sisters feel our love and support.

In the name of Jesus. Amen.


Memorial Day Giveaway – Free DVD

This weekend, as you celebrate, eat, and relax, remember those who served and died so that we have the freedom to do so. In their honor, we are giving away 5 copies of the Back Yard Food Production DVD. Everyone who purchases a ebook or off grid product this weekend will be entered into a drawing for these one of these 5 copies. There will be 5 winners.


New Home and HQ, Green Trust Settled In

We finally are out of the camper, and are settled into our new home. It’s a 1998 Mobile Home, 16′ x 83′, which gives us a lot more breathing room than we had in the 8′ x 30′ travel trailer we had been living in. Internet and phone were turned on yesterday, so we have lots of catching up to do, after being offline for 5 days. It’s a bit weird starting completely over with furniture, appliances and what not, after losing most of our family heirlooms (pictures, books, furniture, etc.) in the fire, but there’s a Goodwill and Salvation Army nearby, so that helps. A very big Thank You to all those who helped us get resettled. Rain gutters, a cistern, and a late start on the garden are the next projects we are working on.


Farmer Calls For ‘Managing Manure To Save Mankind’

Long-time Ohio farmer Gene Logsdon says human and animal waste, including that from pets, is our greatest and most misunderstood natural resource. He points out that we spend billions to throw it away, and billions more to manufacture synthetic fertilizers.

Logsdon sees a future when companies might actually pick up human and pet refuse to compost and sell to farmers, and he argues that finding ways to turn our waste into fertilizer is crucial to our survival. Gene Logsdon’s book is “Holy Shit, Managing Manure to Save Mankind.” He also writes the blog, “The Contrary Farmer.”

Read More

The Humanure Handbook: A Guide to Composting Human Manure, Third Edition


Mimic the Sun with the Latest in LED Light Technology

As the seasons change there are many things that affect plants and their growing cycles with the main factors being light timing and color of light.

The timing of light is affected by the rotation of the earth on its axis over the year, which happens to be a constant event. As the earth rotates it changes the seasons by increasing or decreasing the time that the sun is shining on plants in different hemispheres. Some plants are dramatically affected and built to respond to longer hours of light or a reduction in light.

Light color also affects the performance and sensitivity of plants in different cycles as well. As the earth rotates it also has an effect on the color of the light or what is known as spectra of light. All sunlight passes through the earth’s atmosphere and the angle at which is passes through the different layers of atmosphere affect the spectra that reach the surface. For example, during spring the sun shines at an angle which produces a more blue light, although to the human eye it is not that noticeable. With this increase in blue light the vegetative growth flourishes. The same affect is true with the fall or autumn when the earth rotates away from the sun and this fall angle of sunlight produces a more red color of light. During this time plants are triggered to produce flowers and subsequent fruits and seeds before dormancy or death. The red color of light during fall is a major factor in flower and fruiting cycles of plants.

For the average grower these seasonal factors are just a normal part of life and if you grow outdoors the sun is all you need, but if you are in a greenhouse or indoors things are different now. Indoor growers and greenhouse growers alike can now affect their gardens with LED grow lights that provide very specific colors of light such as red or blue without adding hardly any heat or power costs. Although new 3w LED grow lights can be used alone without other light, the newest invention in LED technology is called SpectraBoost LEDs and only consume as little as 7 watts of power but pack a huge punch of targeted light. Adding blue SpectraBoost to any greenhouse during winter or fall can boost vegetative growth and the Red SpectraBoost LEDs can provide better flowering and fruiting plants during winter as well.

Any indoor grower using traditional grow lights such as metal halide or high pressure sodium are able to supplement their gardens with colors that are low in their lights such as blue in HPS or red in MH. The latest field tests show an increase in flower sites and overall yields with these new LED grow lights versus traditional lights alone.
Now it is possible for growers everywhere to use the reaction of plants to the suns rotation to affect their gardens in ways never before seen with new LED grow light technologies.


Indoor air quality and energy efficiency

Today’s houses are sealed very tightly to eliminate air infiltration. Air infiltration degrades fiberglass batt and blown insulation’s R value, making insulation comparison difficult, and increasing energy costs. Being so tightly sealed, It has been shown that the air within our homes can be 100 times more polluted than the air outdoors. Building materials and furniture can outgass VOC’s, cooking gives off odors, mold and mildew can spread spores, pet dander and other pollutants (radon, etc.) can play havoc with your respiratory system.

You need to exchange your indoor air to maintain air quality. However, air changes per hour (or minute) may not be an appropriate measure for ventilation criteria when controlling certain hazards, heat and/or odors. Ventilation should be determined on the amount of contaminant generated, and the toxicity of that contaminant (not just the size of the room).

One way to exchange the air is with a whole house fan or open windows. In the heating season, this pushes your valuable heat to the outdoors, increasing energy costs. A similar issue arises in the cooling season. One way to eliminate this loss of energy is with a heat or energy recovery ventilator. This preconditions the incoming air with the outgoing air temperature (and sometimes humidity), lessening the flow of dollar bills to the outside environment, but maintaining indoor air quality.

For more info, see


Clean Water Project, Solar Panel & Seed Raffle Winners

Keith Allen is the winner of the Solar Panel Raffle, and Kim Edwards is the winner of the Seed Raffle. These gifts will be going out shortly to these folks. We appreciate all the help everyone gave in supporting our clean water initiative, and hope you all enjoyed the eBooks we sent to everyone who bought a ticket. We asked the winners to send in pics and an article on how they plan to use their new products in their quest for self sufficiency.

We will come up with another self sufficiency item to raffle off to continue the gifts of water purification units. These units will be sent to the victims on the tornado damage here in the Southeastern USA.

Alex Klein was the winner of the DIY Article Submission Contest, with Bubba’s Greenhouse. He will be receiving a free copy of the Backyard Food Production DVD.