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.


May 2, 2023 18 mins

Whether you're a chicken keeper or someone who simply gets annoyed when reading children's books that are filled with misinformation about animals, Diane Sorenson's, The Tales of Mr. Ken Rooster and the Six Sassy Hens, is a fun little gem that's sure to delight young children, as well as the adults reading the book to them.

The book includes short stories about the seven chickens in the author's backyard, an...

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If you want to grow a garden that is in sync with nature, then you need to check out Chris McLaughlin's ninth and newest book, The Good Garden: How to Nurture Pollinators, Soil, Native Wildlife, and Healthy Food — All in Your Own Backyard.

In this episode, Chris and I are talking about several of The Good Garden concepts presented in her book, starting with knowing your ecosystem. We talk about how pollinators and wildlife are ...

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January 24, 2023 34 mins

 It only seems natural that after you perfect a homemade delicacy for your family and friends, the next step is to start selling it. Until recently this was financially impossible in many states due to regulations that meant you would have to invest big bucks in infrastructure to start a business. However, now that all 50 states have cottage food laws, you can start selling food directly from your home kitchen.

 But befor...

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June 14, 2022 26 mins

When talking about weeds, people use words like enemy, battle, and war. No one wants weeds in their garden, right? Well, it depends!

In this episode, author and gardener Tasha Greer talks about why we can't win the "war on weeds," and why we don't really need to. In fact, it's entirely possible to make peace with weeds in our garden.

Tasha goes way beyond the usual suggestions for mulching...

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One of the reasons we decided to start raising pigs almost 20 years ago was because I thought it was the only way we could produce our own homegrown cooking oil — also known as, lard. I assumed that creating oil from seeds and nuts would simply be too challenging for a non-professional.

In this episode, author, gardener, and oil maker Bevin Cohen talks about his book, The Complete Guide to Seed & Nut Oils. He dispels that myth t...

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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 ...

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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 rabb...

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November 30, 2021 20 mins

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 e...

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November 23, 2021 30 mins

 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.

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November 16, 2021 24 mins

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 nat...

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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 do...

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November 2, 2021 23 mins

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.


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October 26, 2021 31 mins

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 h...

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October 19, 2021 37 mins

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 garde...

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October 12, 2021 27 mins

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...

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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 g...

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September 28, 2021 32 mins

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 Ti...

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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...

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September 14, 2021 17 mins

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 c...

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September 9, 2021 26 mins

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 Essen...

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