Doing Something Positive – The Urban Pioneers are doing it, so can we!

Excellent video encapsulating wide array of concepts in Sustainable Living. These Urban Pioneers got a jumpstart back when it was called self-sufficiency- meaningful living, abundant living, simplistic living, getting off the grid. And they go even further back … see the video below. Big hat tip to Path To Freedom Journal blog.

from the Path to Freedom Journal blog ‘about us’
On 1/5th of an acre, this family has over 350 varieties of edible and useful plants. The homestead’s productive 1/10 acre organic garden now grows over 6,000 pounds (3 tons) of organic produce annually,providing fresh vegetables and fruit for the family’s vegetarian diet along with a viable income.

In addition they have chickens, ducks, goats, brew their own biodiesel (made from waste (free!) vegetable oil) to fuel their car, compost with worms, solar panels provide their electricity needs, a sun and earthen oven is used to cook food in.


Gardening – Some Helpful Hints

Basically, a good rule to remember is that if you grow a plant for the fruit or the root, it needs full sun. If you grow it for the leaves, stems, or buds, shade is just fine.

Keep in mind, no vegetable will grow in full shade. The following crops will produce with three to six hours of sun per day. (link here)

1. Salad Greens, such as leaf lettuce, arugula, endive, cress, and radicchio
2. Broccoli
3. Cauliflower
4. Peas
5. Beets
6. Brussels Sprouts
7. Radishes
8. Swiss Chard
9. Leafy Greens, such as collards, mustard greens, spinach, and kale
10. Beans

Uses for old tires – mostly ideas for growing vegetables. Sounds good, but not too sure I’m likely to go looking for old tires to use in my yard/garden.

Seed art.
Makes sense with gardening, reusing and art to use seeds and stems to create art; ie, wheat shafts, form seeds into flowers.
Collect and store seeds (using egg carton containers). Reuse burlap fabric over a lightweight stiff backing (cardboard, masonite). Glue on your seeds to form art.

Need a way to label your plants or rows in the garden? Next time that you are at a garage sale or thrift shop and see a white (or any pale color) vinyl venetian blind, snap it up.A single standard venetian blind will give you hundreds of labels.Just cut the string holding the slats apart, then cut each slat in half with a pair of scissors (the vinyl cuts very easily). I store the slats in these half pieces, then when I need them in the garden I just take each half and cut into two pieces in a diagonal. There, now you have a perfect plant marker with a pointy end all ready to stick into the soil. Simply write the information on the slat with a permanent marker.

Plants for Low-light Bathrooms
• Cast Iron Plant (Aspidistra elatior)
• Boston fern (Nephrolepis exaltata “Bostoniensis”)
• Heart-Leafed Philodendron (Philodendron oxycardium)
• Ficus Benjamina
• Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen)
• Bamboo
• Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
• Orchid
• Spider plant
• Begonia
-ivyPlants for Bright and Sunny Bathrooms
• Orchid
• Azalea
• Kimberly fern
• Gardenia
• Asparagus fern

Great book: Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz. Get your scraps of fruit—apple cores, dregs of berries (though no berries for us cause they’re not in season), whatever—and chop up coarsely. Dissolve a quarter cup of honey (recipe calls for sugar but I can’t get it locally) in one quart water. Throw the scraps in and cover with a cloth. Let ferment for two or three weeks, stirring occasionally. Adds great flavor to—you guessed it—cabbage.You can trap slugs, too. There’s the familiar beer trap — margarine tubs filled with beer, with a hole cut in the lid. Slugs are attracted to the beer, fall in and drown. Or lay a piece of board on the ground under plants. Slugs hide under the board during the day, so you can turn the board over and scrape the slugs off.

Crushed eggshells or diatomaceous earth, sprinkled in a circle around plants, repel slugs. Slugs’ soft bodies can’t glide over the sharp edges. On the same principle, they are less likely to bother plants with fuzzy or prickly leaves.

Next time you spot a slime trail, you’ll be ready to “slug it out” with these pests

100 Mile Diet


The 100 Mile Diet. I’ve been hearing about it, and thinking that we already doing it – well, partly. Since we live in rural setting, and ’shop local’ , I rather thought we were partly already on board. Since my preferred local grocer, Pioneer Grocery, favors local farmers produce, that’s a good start. But then I got to thinking, that hey, our local grocer purchases food from distributors, so how much of the grocery shopping that I do there comes from more than 100 miles away.

I have a bit of a kitchen garden, raise my own herbs and what few vegetables produce from the small garden. Last year I encountered Local Harvest a community supported agriculture (csa) and was disappointed to find none within 50 miles of where we live, and more than that is too much for us to be traveling weekly or them to be trying to deliver weekly. In the city where my daughter lives on the other side of the state, she is already partnering with a CSA in her area, paying her subsidy and receiving her weekly fresh produce. I am pleased she wishes to be engaged that way, and it fits with her change in lifestyle for herself and her family to being vegans.

This morning, then, I thought I’d do a bit of googling and see how close we are to being able to actually do a 100 Mile Diet. And for us, where we live, the 100 miles allows for a generous distance putting us in the circle of larger areas, ie Tacoma, Seattle, Olympia, Vancouver WA, Portland OR. But still doesn’t put us any closer to being able to use existing CSAs in the area. It occurs to me though, that if our local grocery store can purchase from local farmers, that I might be able to inquire and see if I can engage a local farmer in the idea of a CSA – well, if not, then perhaps for us as a singular customer.

Welcome to In Between

Newly finding my way around WordPress, I initiated this blog and then left it believing I wasn’t quite figuring out how it worked.  But I cam back, and I’m glad I did, because now it makes sense to me and I want to develop a few blogs here.  This particular one which I’m calling ‘In Between’ is to share and learn a bit about some of my interests and hobbies.

Creating pages where I can store some of the categorized posts, ie, gardening, vegetarian, crocheting, and sustainable living.  Those are to get the blog started, and I think there will be more pages coming.  For now, though, I needed to come back and reorganize this blog a bit now that I’ve figured out more of how it works, having made another blog already – Life in Bay Center on Willapa Bay.