Sustainability Book Chat

Sustainability Book Chat

Whether you live in a suburban condo or on an off-grid farm, you can live a greener lifestyle. In the Sustainability Book Chat we talk to authors who can help you reach your goals to achieve a more self-reliant lifestyle, whether that means starting a container garden on your balcony or having chickens in your backyard or making greener transportation choices.

Episodes

January 11, 2022 30 min

You might think that someone who write a book about bugs would have been a bona fide bug lover forever. But author Jessica Walliser admits up front that she used to think nothing of spraying pesticides all over plants to kill bugs, even if the pesticide was blowing back in her face and she could smell it and taste it!

Jessica is the author of the second edition of Attracting Beneficial Bugs to Your Garden, which should be arriving i...

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If you have ever thought about raising rabbits for meat, either for your own dinner table or as a business, today's episode will get you at least a step or two closer to that goal.

Eric and Callene Rapp have raised tens of thousands of rabbits over the years and are sharing their hard-earned knowledge in this episode and in their book, Raising Rabbits for Meat.

We are talking about various breeds of meat rabbits, as well as housi...

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November 30, 2021 20 min

Whether you can't quite find the exact tools you need for your farm or you think you can improve on what's available or you simply like to build your own, Josh Volk's latest book, Build Your Own Farm Tools provides tons of inspiration and heard-learned lessons.

Volk says he was always taking apart toys as a child and worked his way through college as a bicycle mechanic before getting a degree in mechanical engineering. T...

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November 23, 2021 30 min

 During the drought of 2012 when everything in our garden was dying after months without rain, I really started to think about hydroponics and aquaponic growing systems.

In today's show, author and farmer Tyler Baras is talking about what hydroponics is, as well as how it is different from aquaponics. He also talks about how some foods can taste different when grown hydroponically and what you can do to compensate.

We discuss the...

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November 16, 2021 24 min

All gardens and farms were organic prior to World War II, and gardeners realized centuries ago that healthy soil was the key to healthy plants.

Building healthy soil is exactly where author and gardener Sally Morgan starts her book, The HEALTHY Vegetable Garden: A natural, chemical-free approach to soil, biodiversity and managing pests and diseases.

In today's interview, we talk about pests, diseases, and natural predators, as we...

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If you like growing things that are slightly unusual, then pawpaws may be for you. They are a "tropical" fruit tree that grows in colder climates.

In this episode, I'm talking with Blake Cothron, the author of "Pawpaws: The Complete Growing and Marketing Guide" and the co-owner of Peaceful Heritage Nursery, a USDA Certified Organic fruit mail-order nursery in Kentucky.

Since most people don't know what pawpaws...

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November 2, 2021 23 min

Today's episode is for anyone who has ever thought about adding cattle to their homestead. I'm talking to Callene Rapp, co-author of Homestead Cows: The Complete Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy Cattle.

We are discussing what traits an aspiring owner should look for when choosing a breed, as well as when deciding to buy individual cows. I also share the big mistake we made when purchasing our first cows.

We also talk about hou...

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October 26, 2021 31 min

If you thought that it was beyond the reach of mere mortals to grow spices like ginger, turmeric, vanilla, cinnamon, and cardamon, you'll be pleasantly surprised by this episode with Tasha Greer, who talks about her book, Grow Your Own Spices.

Although many of us may use "herbs" and "spices" almost interchangeably, this book goes way beyond growing a little basal and cilantro. Tasha explains that herbs are genera...

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October 19, 2021 37 min

People don't usually think of health when we talk about sustainable living, but if we don't have our health, we are not sustainable. Keeping ourselves healthy is really at the root of a sustainable life.

In this episode, I'm talking to Shawna Coronado about her journey from an author of seven gardening books to being debilitated with arthritis to regaining her health by changing what she eats. Her last gardening book, Th...

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October 12, 2021 27 min

If you want to learn more about using herbs beyond the kitchen, The Artisan Herbalist is a must read and a must see. It's filled will beautiful photos that clearly exemplify the identifying characteristics of each herb.

In this podcast, we are talking to author Bevin Cohen about how he got interested in herbs, as well as how he chose the specific herbs that he included in this book. He explains the differences between infusions,...

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If you are looking for ideas on getting started with organic vegetable gardening, we are talking about everything you need to know! Which vegetables are the best for beginners? How do you actually start to plant? What size should your garden be? What can you do with container gardening?

Gary Pilarchik, author of The Modern Homestead Garden, is sharing his gardening wisdom with listeners today. In addition to his personal gardening e...

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September 28, 2021 32 min

It seems like keeping bees should be the easiest thing in the world, but I have learned personally that there is a lot more to it than you might expect. If you have been thinking about getting started with bees, we are talking about some of the unexpected things that every beginner needs to consider before buying their first hive.

Author and beekeeper Kim Flottum is sharing some of the wisdom from his latest book, First Time Beekeep...

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Bugs are an inevitable part of gardening, but we have lots of options for dealing with them. In this episode gardener Susan Mulvihill, author of The Vegetable Garden Pest Handbook, talks about organic methods of handling pests in our garden.

We discuss the principles behind integrated pest management, and the importance of identifying bugs before taking action. Susan gives us examples of management practices you can employ to reduce...

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September 14, 2021 17 min

Having backyard chickens, like having your own garden, is a small but significant way to take control of your food and decrease its carbon footprint. While backyard chicken keeping has become more popular in recent years, some people are still intimidated by the idea.

In this episode, we are talking to Lisa Steele, fifth generation chicken keeper and author of Fresh Eggs Daily and Duck Eggs Daily. Lisa tells us about the circuitous ...

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September 9, 2021 26 min

Do you love to travel but worry that it's hard on the planet? Today I'm talking to Holly Tuppen, a responsible travel expert who has specialized in sustainable travel since circumnavigating the world without flying in 2010. She talks about bicycling across the US, working as part of the crew on a sailboat, and traveling on a container ship, among other adventures.

Holly’s debut book, Sustainable Travel: The Essential Guide t...

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September 8, 2021 20 min

If you like things that are free and natural, then compost checks both boxes when it comes to fertilizing your garden and even your houseplants. In this episode, I'm talking to Michelle Balz about her book, No Waste Composting: Small-Space Waste Recycling Indoors and Out.

We discuss free and inexpensive ways that you can turn your waste into black gold. We start by talking about the benefits of composting, and then discuss compo...

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If you are intimidated by gardening because it seems like too much work or you don't want to invest in a tiller, then you should check out no-dig gardening.

In Charlie Nardozzi's newest book, The Complete Guide to No-Dig Gardening, he covers everything you need to know to be successful with your garden. But why not dig?

In today's episode, Charlie talks about the benefits to you, the plants, and the planet of no-dig garde...

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