Happy Mother’s Day!

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garden, roots, tubers,

Growing Carrots: A Tip from Grandpa

Carrots are not guaranteed a spot in my garden, but when space allows, I utilize a little of my Grandpa's wisdom. One thing that's crucial when starting carrots is that they have constant moisture as they sprout. Seed your row of carrots and water them in well. Place a 1" x 4" board over the […] Read More

compost, waste, garden, nutrients, soil, beneficials

Use Your Blender for (Almost) Instant Compost

What if you don't have a lot of space for composting as Ruth commented awhile back? Your leftover salad greens, apple cores, egg shells, and gnarly vegetarian leftovers can go straight to the root of your garden when you use this method, which is ideal for urban gardeners. Toss compostable items into your blender so […] Read More

A More Sustainable Mother’s Day

How about a dozen red roses to celebrate your mom for Mother's Day? Or not. Instead of giving mom a bouquet of roses that have likely been trucked in from a distance and grown with chemical pesticides and fertilizers, seek out locally grown flowers (try your farmers market!) or buy her a plant that she […] Read More


Five Books Worth Adding to your Shelves

For years, my plant bible has been the Sunset Western Garden Book. Filled with listings of specific plants (over 8,000 in the 2011 edition) that detail plant characteristics, growth habits, and zone requirements, this is a must-have if you garden in the west. The book includes information about both edible and ornamental plants and trees. […] Read More

Garlic Tower: Project Fail

Remember back when I posted about dismantling a pallet so I could use the wood for a project? And remember when I mentioned that I'd be sharing both successes and failures in my attempts at becoming more sustainable? Well it's time for a fail update. This was my plan: turn the wood from a recycled […] Read More

Topped with homemade passion fruit jelly.

No Measure Homemade Vanilla Yogurt

I've been making my own yogurt for several years now* and I'm here to tell you: it's easy. Homemade yogurt is tasty, MUCH cheaper than store bought, and it doesn't come with any packaging. I make vanilla yogurt and top it with homemade jam or jelly for a variety of flavors. Ingredients: Half-gallon milk. (I've […] Read More

Small Step: Give up Drinking Straws

It seems like a silly thing. Can a simple plastic drinking straw really make much of a difference? But take this into account: One Virginia manufacturer makes four BILLION drinking straws each year. Imagine how much plastic that uses. Imagine how much waste that produces. What if we gave up drinking straws? Sure, many of […] Read More


Plastic-Free Freezer Storage

We've been talking a bit over on the Attainable Sustainable Facebook page about how to store food in the freezer without using plastic containers. It's a big stumbling block for people like me who want to preserve garden bounty (I freeze vegetables like green beans; their acid content is too low for water bath canning) […] Read More


Are You Making This Mistake at the Post Office?

If you toss your paper trash into a receptacle at your United States Post Office, it might be going straight to the landfill. Not all offices recycle their paper waste due to privacy issues (mine does not). Ask; if yours doesn't, bring the junk mail home with you and add it to your recycle bin. […] Read More