Transition Brockville archive

Tag : Frugal living (121)

Sustainable city living on 1/10th of an acre

Happen Films / 20 October 2018

This film tells the story of one small family practicing urban sufficiency. They live on 1/10th of an acre in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia. By living more simply and utilizing alternative technologies this household draws 75-80% less electricity from the grid than the Australian average (per capita). At the same time they’re exporting five times that amount in solar energy back into the grid.

Older generations can teach us about plastic-free living

Treehugger / Katherine Martinko / 27 September 2018

At first glance, the future looks high-tech and cutting-edge. There’s a sense that we need to move beyond single-use plastics to solutions that only science can give us. But what if we’re heading in the wrong direction? What if the most straightforward answers to our problem lie in the past?

We didn’t always have a plastic pollution problem. Before the mid-20th century, people made do without it and, presumably, as Mark Blackburn put it descriptively in an article for One Brown Planet, they were not lying “in the streets, malnourished and dehydrated, like a scene from some apocalyptic war,” for lack of plastic water bottles. They managed just fine because their lifestyle habits were different.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Mulch: Multitude of benefits

Mother Earth News / Charlyn Ellis / 05 August 2015

The Willamette Valley, usually known for it’s darn near perfect summers—dry, breezy, in the eighties with cool nights—has seen two serious heat waves this summer. One came at the end of June, the second at the end of July. Both were problematic for crops, as they came right when many young transplants were settling into the fields. My own small scale fall and winter garden went in about four days before the second heat wave. How could I keep them alive in the blazing afternoon sun when their roots were not reaching deep into the soil? I mulched. First, I worked all of the residual mulch from the early potato crop into the bed. Then I nested each start in a base of straw mulch laid over the ground and soaker hoses. They all came through. Mulch. Straw, leaves, winter cover crops, cardboard or woodshavings … it’s useful stuff. Placed neatly around the base of young plants and later worked into the soil, it has a multitude of benefits.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Making homemade broth and stock

Mother Earth News / Andrea Chesman / October/November 2018

Nothing beats the convenience of having homemade broth and stock on hand in your kitchen. Homemade broths and stocks taste better than canned broths, bouillon cubes and pastes, and even expensive boxed broths. In addition, you’ll reduce your kitchen waste if you extract the flavor that remains in bones and vegetable peelings after the other parts are consumed.

But what do you call the simmering mixture in your pot? Is it broth, or is it stock? The two terms are often used interchangeably, and definitions do vary, so it depends on who you ask. But, in a nutshell, stock is the gelatinous result of cooking vegetables and bones in unseasoned water for several hours to extract flavor, while broth is made out of vegetables and meat simmered in a seasoned liquid for a shorter period of time. Either one can serve as a foundation for other dishes, but because broth is typically seasoned, it’s often consumed on its own, while stock is the perfect rich-tasting base onto which you can layer other flavors.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

Tips on freezing the harvest

Mother Earth News / Carole Coates / 04 September 2018

It’s that time of year—the garden is bulging with fresh produce and you’re spending lots of time in a steaming kitchen preserving it all. I find freezing preferable to canning for a number of reasons.

For one, when it’s time to prepare a meal with my preserved garden goodness, frozen foods tend to be brighter, fresher, and all-around tastier.

And relatively speaking, it’s fast and easy.

Over the years, I’ve come up with a few tips to make freezing even easier. Use these freezing hacks to help the environment, too.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

How to dry herbs

Mother Earth News / Tabitha Alterman / February/March 2013

Of all the various types of foods and ways to preserve them — freezing or canning fruits and vegetables, pickling, curing meat, making cheese and yogurt — dehydrating herbs is the easiest place to jump in. Most herbs contain so little moisture that your job is done soon after you’ve bought or harvested them.

Drying herbs is an economically savvy food preservation strategy, too, because fresh and dried herbs and teas demand high prices at the grocery store.

Your own dried herbs will taste better than store-bought because they’ll be newer and thus more pungent. If you grow your own herbs, you can also choose the tastiest varieties.

[ FULL ARTICLE ]

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The Transition Framework

What the Transition movement does incredibly well is small-scale experiments which are practical, which resonate with local people, which look as if they’re doable, and that can engage people at a practical and meaningful level. It connects up the big issues and the local issues and shows you that change can happen at a local level.

— Julian Dobson, 21 Stories of Transition
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