Living Sustainably

Aquaponics | Rain Harvesting | Composting | Other Green Products

Is it illegal to trade saved seeds?

Apparently in Pennsylvania it is. The PA Dept of Ag has sent a cease and desist to a seed saving library. This organization would let you “borrow” seeds, if you saved your seeds and returned them at the end of the season. PA says that’s “selling” seeds without a license.


In early June, the Simpson Public Library in tiny Mechanicsburg—the population is just shy of 9,000—received a letter from the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. It seems the library’s seed-exchange program is in violation of the state’s 2004 Seed Act, according to state agriculture officials who require all seed distributors to purchase a license, conduct germination tests on each seed distributed, and maintain copious records of each transaction. Their reasoning is that they want to prevent agroterrorism and the spread of invasive weeds.

Experts say the fallout at the Simpson Public Library is much more certain and immediate: the closure of the seed library altogether.

“Since the library is not able to provide testing services for seeds harvested by its library users, we will not be able to accept harvested seeds as we had originally planned,” reads a message on the library’s website.


Dharam arrives with his skoolie!

Last night our friend Dharam arrived with his school bus. We are helping him convert it to an RV, and will be converting the diesel to run on Used Fryer Oil (UFO). Dharam is a house washer by trade, so hopefully, weather permitting, Green-Trust will get a fresh coat of paint, and look a bit more presentable. Pictures of the bus and conversion will be posted as the project progresses. We hope to take Dharam down to Woodhenge to pick up a set of used deep cycle batteries as a house bank for his bus.

Dharam obtained his bus from a friend of ours, Greg Archambault, from Greg is bringing us a bus next month for our church.


Trade in your Prius and buy a VW!

Michael Briggs: Trade in your Prius and buy a VW! What’s better than hybrids and better than fuel cells? According to UNH researcher Michael Briggs, the answer is Biodiesel. Read his manifesto to find out why biodiesel is cheaper and more environmentally-friendly to produce, ready for large-scale production, and usable in existing automobiles. The results may surprise you.

About the author:

The UNH Biodiesel Group is working on improving the technology for growing algae on waste streams for biodiesel production. UNH has filed a provisional patent application and is seeking partners to develop the technology.


New Events

Our new Events Calendar is setup, so please feel free to add your renewable energy or sustainability related events. Seminars, workshops, building parties, or pot-luck get togethers are all welcome. We also have activated our rotating banner ads at the top of each blog page. These are reserved for Renewable Energy / Sustainability focused companies and organizations. Email me if you have a banner you want displayed, and what you can donate/trade. You will also get listed on the right as a “sponsor”. Don’t forget the Biodiesel Workshop in CT this weekend.