Historic Lamon Orchard in Yosemite National Park
When my husband and I began our homestead, the very first thing we wanted to get started on right away was our orchard. Trees take longer to mature and produce than gardens do, so it is tops on the priority list when adding them to your property. We only have 2 acres to work with so prior planning, in order to utilize every square foot to its utmost, is advantageous for us in our homesteading adventure. We wanted a wonderful orchard where we could take a short, lazy afternoon stroll or sit on a bench in and enjoy the cool summer shade, and sip some iced tea while taking in our beautiful view of the valley below us.
After careful consideration, we chose to use a quarter of an acre in the farthest rear corner of our property where sun and space for the entire orchard is optimal. Location is important, as fruit and nut trees can be messy when not fully harvested during maturity, attracts birds, and provides windblock and shade. The worst place to plant any fruit or nut
- MadeInAmerica | Green – Sun, Jan 8, 2012 5:55 PM EST
Historic Lamon Orchard in Yosemite National ParkRead More »from Adventures in Homesteading 101: How Does Your Orchard Grow?
This is properly-installed insulation, sealed around a wire. Photo by Carl Seville.
By Carl Seville, Networx
There is no free insulation lunch. Super-magic foil insulation won't do what salespeople say it will. Natural, recycled, and green insulation won't work if it isn't installed right. And no insulation will make your house more efficient if air leaks around it and it isn't installed properly. As a green building consultant, I see all the mistakes that people make with insulation in the name of being "green". There's a lot of myths out there, and I'm about to dispel them. I hope I'll be able to cut through the greenwashing so that you don't get ripped off.
Myth #1: I should install as much insulation as possible to make my house more efficient and comfortable.
If you don't stop air from moving through the insulation, adding extra is pretty much a waste of effort. Fiberglass and cellulose don't stop air movement, and when air moves through insulation, it doesn't work like it's supposed to.
There must be an air barrier in complete contact with theRead More »from Busting 3 Green Insulation Myths
By Adam Verwymeren, Networx
Baking soda is a great and versatile tool around the home, and there are dozens of ways it can be put to use. It can cut grease, absorb odors and clean body parts, among its many other applications.
Antacid: Suffering from heartburn? Baking soda is highly effective antacid. However, sodium bicarbonate is, well, sodium. So if your doctor has told you to cut down on the salt, don't reach for this household cure for indigestion. Ask your doctor to recommend a safer alternative.
Cleaning Aluminum: While a quick scrubs with a bit of baking soda is a great way to clean your pots and pans, you should never use it on aluminum cookware. The alkaline sodium bicarbonate reacts with the aluminum and can cause your pots and pans to discolor.
Fridge Freshener: Because it reacts with odor-causing acids, baking soda will make your fridgeRead More »from 6 Ways Not to Use Baking Soda
Photo: ThinkstockBy Amanda Schupak
If You've Got 5 Minutes for the Environment...
Reset the schedule on your automatic sprinklers so your lawn is irrigated in the early morning or late evening. Evaporation during daytime hours means as much as 30 percent of water never makes it into the soil, which can amount to 126 gallons of water wasted each week at your house alone.
RELATED: 6 Steps to Sustainable Eating
Photo: ThinkstockIf You've Got 30 Minutes for the Environment...
Older toilets use as much as seven gallons of water with each flush-when less than a gallon can do the trick. Not ready to replace a gallon guzzler? Fill a plastic bottle with water and a bit of sand or gravel and submerge it in the tank (careful to keep clear of the stopper) for a do-it-yourself low-flow throne.
RELATED: What's Your Real Motivation?
Photo: ThinkstockIf You've Got an Afternoon for the Environment...Read More »from 4 Eco-Resolutions to Make in 2012
Safely Replace Your Tech
By: Andrea Eldridge
If you were fortunate enough to receive a new tech gadget this holiday season, it can be a great opportunity to donate or sell an older device that you no longer need. Before you send it off with a fond farewell, however, keep in mind that most electronic items contain a wealth of personal information that you want to ensure doesn't fall into the wrong hands. Whether you're handing down your laptop to your teenager, giving your old phone to Uncle Fred, or donating your gadget to Goodwill, make sure that you take a few steps to wipe your data off the device before you re-gift it to gain a few more years of use.
If you're passing along a hand-me-down computer or laptop to a trusted family member, performing a backup (to transfer your data to the new system), formatting the hard drive, and reinstalling windows is the easiest way to return the system to factory-like condition. Many people think that this is sufficient to wipe yourRead More »from Safely Replace Your Tech
heroRead More »from 16 Ways to Trim Your Trash in the New Year
By Rachelle Strauss
How much rubbish did you throw out last year? If you're anything like the average person, you threw away your own body weight in rubbish every seven weeks. But have you ever stopped to think where "away" is? Sorry to tell you it's not some magical place full of rainbows and fairies where everything is transformed into something lovely. No, "away" is a landfill site, an incinerator, or a ship to China. It might even be a turtle's mouth.
In the New Year why not make a resolution for the earth by resolving to get your waste to a svelte size zero? It's fun, challenging and, better still, it won't cost you anything. It might even save you money. In 2009, my family set ourselves to the challenge of accumulating no more than one trash can of landfill for the entire year. Here's the result.
After having our bin emptied live on breakfast television (what a claim to fame!) and our story spreading around the world we decided to see how low we could go. By the end of the
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