Grow Biointensive Mini-Handbook
The intensive gardening techniques championed by John Jeavons at Ecology Action in California focuses on reducing water consumption, reducing the amount of fertilizer required, and increasing caloric production per unit of area. Although not easy, understanding the principles and incorporating at least some of them will markedly improve your vegetable garden. Margo Royer-Miller has developed a free PDF 16-page guide to sustainable mini-farming that will teach you these basic principles. It is available at
Clever Gardening Technique
Melting Ice Safely
Walking safely on steps and walks during the snow and ice of winter, yet not harming pets or nearby plants is a challenge. First, in case you don't already know, the salt used on roads kills plants and harms pets by dehydrating their paws. The safest method is to simply improve traction for yourself by using sand, sawdust, non-clumping kitty litter or wood ashes. If that isn't enough, then look for products that are labeled pet and plant safe. Most of these are based on magnesium chloride or urea. Some use calcium magnesium and potassium acetate. These can damage aquatic life and are expensive, but they are a good alternative.