Archive for June 2011

In.gredients Package Free Grocery Store

This is one of the most amazing concepts I have seen in the Green movement. It is such a simple concept and makes me wonder why it hasn’t been done before. Sure we have the scoop and bulk places. But they do not promote package free or reusable containers.

See the full article at and visit their site

Aquaponic Fish Food

Good evening All!

We are exploring different ways to feed our fish. Since aquaponics is such an efficient method, basically meaning you only pay for the electricity and the food you give the fish, we are on a mission to discover alternate fish feed. We have been looking at things like duckweed and kitchen scraps. We would love to hear some of your ideas.

My latest idea is to take any greens from the grow beds past their time or not up to our standards and blend them into fish food. We tried it with a bunch of lettuce mixed with potato flakes. We are worried that we would not be giving them the right balance of nutrition. After all, what goes in is what comes out, and what comes out feeds the veg. Soooooo… Some advice has been to add bread (stale or otherwise) to the mix as well. We will try that. Then we will take the blend and either dry it or freeze it.

What are your ideas? Please leave us some comments here or in the forums!

A Different Kind of Farm Stand

video reposted from Cooking Up A Story

There is a wee farm stand in Vermont where you can find fresh produce each day and well into the night. There is no one to take your money or to sell you on anything. A chalk board inside says “This Stand is on Your Honor.” There is a cash box and a small change box. It is a wonderful thing to see, a retail venture working well on the honour system.

Enjoy the video and be sure to check out It is a wonderful blog and video site full of great articles, stories, tips, and interviews.

Amazing Charity Appliance Event! (July 19)

Come down to the Amazing Charity Appliance Event in support of Gio’s Cares,

Get appliances below cost!! 

Brand new appliances with varying amt of damages. Most are in fantastic shape! From bar-fridges to french-door fridges, from coil-top ranges to upper-end glass-top convection, from top-load to high efficiency front-load washers. 


Free raffles for great prizes!
Delivery or pick-up offered!
Satisfaction guaranteed! 

July 19th @ 367 Poplar Ave for ONE NIGHT ONLY from 6 p.m – 8 p.m. 


Gio’s Cares is the registered charitable organization of the Oscar Wilde Memorial Society, Inc. (Gio’s Club and Bar). Founded in 1992, Gio’s Cares is administered by a volunteer board of directors.

Our mission is to improve the quality of life of those living with HIV/AIDS. The funds we raise go directly toward the promotion of safer sex education, prevention, and testing, and the provision of supplies.

Chicken, Duck & Dwarf Goat Ordinance Approved!

I really wish the backward thinking minds, city council, and the naysayers would realize how little of a negative impact this would have in Winnipeg. It just makes sense. Why can’t Winnipeg be as progressive as so many other cities in the US and Canada that have already passed laws like this and have PROVEN it works?

reposted from Denver Westword Blogs.

Last night, Denver City Council approved a zoning code change to allow chickens, ducks and dwarf goats to be kept at city residences, and Sundari Elizabeth Kraft, the organizer of Sustainable Food Denver and author of the just-published book The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Urban Homesteading couldn’t be happier.

“Big kudos to city council,” Kraft says. “They really listened.”

At a meeting last week, folks speaking in favor of the change outnumbered opponents by a count of 49-4 — something Kraft says even councilmembers against the notion acknowledged. In the end, the ordinance passed 7-3

The new rule doesn’t mean homeowners have no restrictions when it comes to introducing an element of farm living to city environs.

“We still have a process in place for certain kinds of animals,” Kraft points out. “But we’ve carved out a small subset of animals — up to eight female chickens or ducks and up to two dwarf dairy goats. They must be dwarf, and no billy goats, which smell terrible. And that little subset of animals now has a new process that involves additional guidelines in terms of coop placement on your lot and distance from a neighbor’s dwelling, among other things. And these guidelines didn’t exist before, so we’ve added protections for neighbors and the animals themselves.”

Just as important, Kraft continues, “we’ve taken away the bureaucracy and expense, streamlining the process so that now people only need a simple animal-control license — a one-time license that costs $20.”

Under the old system, she points out, “only twelve permits had been issued in the City of Denver for chickens and dwarf goats, because the process was so complicated and expensive. Many people said, ‘That’s crazy. I’m not doing that. But if you simplify the process, I’d prefer to be legal.’ And now, animal control will have a much better idea who has these animals in the city, which is a better thing for everyone — because these animals will no longer be kept in the shadows.”

Of course, there’s much more to urban homesteading that chickens, ducks and dwarf goats, as readers of Kraft’s Complete Idiot’s Guide will discover.

“We worked to make the book really comprehensive,” she says. “Urban homesteading is anything you can do to live more self-sufficiently and more self-sustainingly. So there’s information about growing on your own land, growing on someone else’s land in land-share agreements, chickens, dwarf goats, rabbits, bees and aquaponics, which is fish and plants together. And there are also sections about everything from canning to cheese-making to making your own cleaning products.”

On top of that, Kraft devoted an entire chapter to zoning. “One of the things about urban homesteading that gets neglected is, it doesn’t do any good to teach people how to live more self-sustainingly if they’re not allowed to do it — which is the case for a lot of people. So the book will help you understand your city’s zoning regulations and how to potentially work to change them.”

Kraft came up with ten steps toward accomplishing this goal — and while she was only at about step seven in Denver when she wrote the chapter, the council’s action last night proves the methodology works. Still, she’s quick to give credit to the urban homesteading community as a whole.

“There are so many reasons why people would want a sustainable food initiative,” she allows, “whether it’s for cheaper food, more ethically raised food, healthier food. And people came together and voiced their opinions to the council. They were very articulate and respectful, and thankfully, the city council was respectful as well — even if this may have seemed strange to them at first.”

Look below to see a short video provided by Kraft; it shows how chickens and dwarf goats can coexist in your very own backyard.


Solstice Fire Tomato Soup from

Welcome Summer! This soup is definitely a labour of love. It takes about two hours to prepare. But most of the time can be spent curled up with a good book and a pipe, enjoying the aromas.

2 onions, diced

1/2 c shredded cabbage

4 c beef or chicken broth

1 T butter6 ripe tomatoes, diced

1 t sugar1 clove garlic, minced

1/8 c fresh thyme (1/4 t dried)

1/4 c fresh basil (1/2 t dried)

2 t salt

2 t pepper

1/4 c flour

1 c sour cream

Simmer the onion, cabbage, broth and butter for 1 hour in a large saucepan. Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, garlic, thyme, basil, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 45 minutes. Puree the tomato mixture. Return to the saucepan. Mix the flour and sour cream and stir into the tomato mixture a little at a time. Simmer until thickened. Serves four.

Please visit the Hobbit Gardener for this and more recipes, stories, and sustainable gardening tips.


160 Loads of Laundry Soap for $2? Here’s How!

reposted from

How to make your own Laundry soap. For under $2 and three ingredients you can make 10 gallons of laundry soap, enough for 160 Loads.

Placard Making Party

To prepare for the 2nd Annual March Against Violence we are holding a placard making party!
Placard Making Party
We will be holding a placard making party on 
Tuesday June 21
At 5:30 at the DMSMCA Offices
At 823 Ellice Ave

Please come out and make some colorful, catchy signs to carry in the March Against Violence happening the following day, on the 22nd of June!

We’ll bring the supplies, you bring the creativity! Open to kids and youth, everyone is welcome!


Merry’s Mushrooms from

“They’re mine! Mrs. Maggot gave them to me- A Queen among farmers’ wives!” -Frodo, Fellowship of the Ring.

1 small diced onion

3-4 cloves of garlic, minced

3 c. small mushrooms, washed (can also use large mushrooms sliced in half or quarters)

3 tbsp. oil

1 tbsp. thyme

2 c. water

2 tbsp. arrowroot


In a medium pot or a deep pan, saute the onions and garlic in the oil until the onions are soft. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook for two more minutes. Add 1 1/2 c. water and simmer uncovered for 15 min.  Mix the arrowroot with the remaining 1/2 c. of water, and add to pot. Cook until thickened, approx. one minute. Adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately to hungry Hobbits. Or eat them all yourself!


Alan Kapuler: Man of Science, Ideas, and Humanity

Here we have reposted three videos from It is a great site for information on sustainability and permaculture.

Dr. Alan Kapuler is a man who thinks on big time scales, and across wide geographic spheres of reality.

A molecular biologist by training, as a young adult, Kapuler experienced an almost spiritual connection from working with plants. Years later, he became a public domain organic plant breeder, and an impassioned advocate for the protection of the natural world. Kapuler believes, the interconnectedness of all living things—biodiversity itself, is the true seed of life. Widely regarded as the founding father of the organic seed movement, Kapuler’s reverence of living things is embodied in his daily work—planting, breeding, and cataloging of seeds he has done for almost 40 years.

Kapuler describes himself as a “public domain” plant breeder, developing stabile varieties of open pollinated seeds that can be used, and further adapted by backyard gardeners, and urban farmers without any licensing restrictions, or the inability to re-use the same seeds for future harvests.

Part One:

Part Two:

Part Three:

Alan Kapuler shares his deep appreciation for the biological and ecological systems of the garden. Through his plant breeding efforts, Kapuler seeks to extend into the public domain a lifetime of work cultivating, growing and cataloging his seeds for the benefit of humanity.