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Living Sustainably

Aquaponics | Rain Harvesting | Composting | Other Green Products


Coconut Coir, Say Goodbye to Peat Moss!

coconutPeat Moss is a common material used for gardening, but it’s not sustainable, mining is damaging to the environment and it’s acidic.

The Dirt on Peat Moss

Does Peat Moss Have a Place In the Ecological Garden?

We use recycled coconut fiber, called coir, a food industry byproduct. As such it’s sustainable, less acidic, and performs better for the myriad of uses we need:

1. Cover Material for Composting Toilet
2. Worm Composting Bedding
3. Mulch and soil additives
4. Upholstery Stuffing

There’s a great tutorial for using Coconut Coir at The Real Garden.

We get ours at Amazon with free shipping, and are very happy with the results. It comes in 11 lb. compressed bales (expands when hydrated) for $22.

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Worms, Container Gardening, and Seeds

We recently received our packages of red worms and worm compost from
http://organicandmechanic.ecrater.com/ and have set up our worm bins. We used to raise worms when we lived in NY, but have not since we moved to
SC. We will be using the worm compost to make potting soil (combined with recycled coconut coir ( http://www.rolanka.com/ ), and composted horse and chicken manure/bedding), and selling the worms to local fishermen and gardeners.

For folks who are struggling financially, We have been giving away localized (cultural and zone rated) heirloom seed packs from http://www.hometownseeds.com/ along with above potting soil mix, recycled buckets, and information packs on container gardening, seed saving, and food storage (canning and drying), and rain water harvesting / self watering containers.

For SC specific info, see
http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/vegetables/gardening/hgic1255.html, but each state has a similar website for their local conditions. Contact me if you can’t find it, as I’m making a list of each states resources.

If you know someone who is struggling financially, and will use these materials to feed their family and teach others, let me know, and I’ll see what I can do. Anyone that wants to start their own service, or support us in ours, I’ll be happy to share our information or accept donations. It’s sort of a modern day Johnny “Veggie” Seed instead of Appleseed.

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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.

http://www.feralscholar.org/blog/index.php/2008/04/29/humanure-composting/

http://weblife.org/humanure/chapter8_2.html

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