Posts filed under ‘How-To’

Top 10 Energy Efficiency Tips for the Home

In this story, we look at both of the modest and extensive ways you can improve your home’s efficiency—small and big steps that can add up to big savings, and a significantly reduced carbon footprint.

To assemble our list of top ten actions you can take, we accompanied EnerGuide for homes auditor Jeff Paton as he conducted an EnerGuide assessment of Brian and Laura Finley’s 1956 home in Edmonton, Alberta. Then we pushed beyond the EnerGuide assessment and put together this list of the top 10 ways to improve the energy efficiency of your home.

Read Top 10 Energy Efficiency Tips for the Home by David Dodge and Scott Rollans at Green Energy Futures.


March 14, 2018 at 11:38 am Leave a comment

How to Tap Trees for Syrup

To get started, follow these simple steps, and be sure to disconnect the tap when the tree’s leaf buds swell, a sign that the sap will soon turn bitter. If done correctly, the process won’t hurt the tree. Think of it as an arboreal version of donating blood, only far more delicious.

I make my own syrup now, albeit from the black walnuts in my neighbor’s North Carolina yard. Other trees that produce sweet saps include sycamores, butternuts, and shagbark hickories, as well as all manner of birches, box elders, and maples. Just be forewarned: Many of these alternatives contain less sugar than the aptly named sugar maple, so you’ll have to boil a lot of sap to yield a very small amount of syrup.

Read How to Tap Trees for Syrup by Frank Hyman at The Modern Farmer.

February 28, 2018 at 11:31 am Leave a comment

The Safe Way to Ride Your Bike in Winter

Even for many dedicated bike commuters, cycling in the worst parts of winter can be a step too far. For those of us who approach any physical activity with mixed emotions, the sight of snow on the ground is a perfect excuse to find any other way to get around. But still, in cities where cycling is common, bike lanes stay busy even when the snow is piling up.

This isn’t just a Copenhagen quirk. While Amsterdam’s relatively temperate winters often only experience short bursts of snow and ice, cycling in freezing temperatures is common across Scandinavia, even in cities close to the arctic circle. If they can do it, surely there are ways you can prepare to bike through the next cold spat, right? To find some practical tips for safe winter cycling, CityLab turned to Anna Luten, the Global Development Director for the Bicycle Mayor Program. Here’s what she recommends:

Read The Safe Way to Ride Your Bike in Winter by Feagus O’Sullivan at City Lab.

February 26, 2018 at 11:36 am Leave a comment

When to Start Seeds Calculator help remembering when it’s safe and smart to start your first spring sowings of vegetable, flower and herb seeds indoors and out? THIS TOOL helps calculate when. Begin by entering your final spring frost date on the top right of the chart.

Eastern Ontario Hardiness Zone Map

For most of the area in and around Ottawa, the stated frost free date is between May 2 and May 31.   In recent years the frost free date has been advancing towards the first of May from the traditional May 24th date used in the past. Check to see when the last frost date is for your zone.  Presently, the last average frost date for Ottawa is May 11th.  This can vary greatly.  If you are a conservative gardener and not a gambler move this date ahead to at least May 20.


February 21, 2018 at 11:24 am Leave a comment

7 Vitamins and Minerals You Need in Your Plant-Based Diet

Eating a varied diet rich in whole grains, plant-based protein, healthy fats, and fruits and vegetables is the key to good health and also the secret to be able to tap into a neverending source of energy. Aside from fueling our bodies with macronutrients, plant-based foods also provide vitamins and minerals essential to keeping our cognitive functions and metabolism revved up.

Curious about which micronutrients can help you think faster, focus more, and overall keep you jostling with energy to be your most efficient productive self? Here are 7 of the main ones

Read 7 Vitamins and Minerals You Need in Your Plant-Based Diet at One Green Planet.

January 29, 2018 at 11:53 am Leave a comment

Seed Starting: Easy Setups for Home Gardeners

Glean creative ideas for real-world seed-starting setups, from soil blockers to mini-greenhouses, so you can grow your own vegetable seedlings at home this spring.

Read Seed Starting: Easy Setups for Home Gardeners edited by Shelley Stonebrook at Mother Earth News.

January 22, 2018 at 11:43 am Leave a comment

Looking for Seeds?

Looking for seeds?

Find vegetable and fruit seeds sold by Canadian seed companies.

This is a list of vegetable and fruit seeds that were sold in recent years by Canadian seed companies.

Click on a section in the list below to see the varieties available, and the companies that sold them. Visit these companies, buy their seeds, and enjoy a beautiful, diverse garden next summer:

The Canadian Seed Catalogue Index

And a searchable database of ecological vegetable and grain seed sold in Canada:

Best Seeds for Your Region


January 15, 2018 at 12:01 pm 1 comment

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