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All articles here are written by Melinda Briana Epler (that's me!) unless otherwise noted. I'm a documentary filmmaker, writer, and brand experience designer - I've dedicated my life to living a sustainable lifestyle and helping others do the same. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or thoughts for articles. Welcome!

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Reader Links, Questions, and Ideas

One Green Generation Reader Forum

During my morning breakfast, I sit and read each of your letters and comments.  It’s one of my favorite parts of the day! Please feel free to email at any time. I receive a good deal of reader emails each week, and sometimes I have the time to answer them, while other times I don’t.  But I will try my best to answer questions you have, and I will definitely appreciate any thoughts, links, and ideas you send my way.

In fact, I wanted to see if it would work to discuss some of your questions, links, and ideas here.  Maybe you all have some answers to questions I just couldn’t answer.  Or maybe these links and ideas will spark something in you.  Please let me know if you like this, and I’ll do it again.

Links & Ideas

  1. A cheap and easy way to make a cold frame:  “Making a cold frame / construire une petite serre”.
  2. A cell phone application that lists local and green businesses in your area: 3rdWhale Mobile.  I haven’t tried it myself (I don’t have a web plan on my phone), but it looks promising.
  3. A seed library in upstate New York, offering seeds to purchase for the first time this year: Hudson Valley Seed Library.
  4. An inspiring article about how businesses can help rebuild the economy:  “Entrepreneurs of Coopperation.”
  5. A new social networking site that matches gardeners with garden space (from Grist):  Urban GardenShare.


Please help, if you can!

  1. By chance do you know of anyone who has planted a 5 in 1 fruit tree?  It sounds good but is it really?
  2. My husband followed your recipe for the deodorant a couple of months ago and it works amazingly. No deodorant worked for him EVER, now basically there is no odor. He runs a lot and yet after he comes home from training it is just a sweat. tonight I’m going to try your “shampoo”. If you have any ideas for toothpaste please let me know.
  3. I would like to grow some Russian Kale, I was hopeful you could direct me to a seed source in Hobart Tas, I live in Moonah.  [I had to look it up:  it's in Australia in case you're wondering! - Melinda]
  4. I was disappointed to see nothing about the great Portland resources [on the Northwest Resources page]! …Could we start listing some please? I will try to make a list, but I know there are tons of others out there who have their own ideas! Thank you!
  5. I’m working on an assignment about sustainability and I would like some information if you can help. Why is sustainability so important?  Many thanks. [Obviously a huge question, but maybe you have some links where he could learn more?  - Melinda]

Also, if you have any questions, links, or ideas to share, please feel free to share them in the comments here!

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8 comments to Reader Links, Questions, and Ideas

  • Ok well, as I am never short of an opinion I will weigh in on a couple of the questions.

    5 in 1 fruit trees… great theory very seldom work all that well in practice. From what those around me have found when they get multigraft trees is that mostly one or two of the grafts, the more vigorous species take all the nutrition that the root stock is providing and very quickly take over the tree. Sometimes that is simply they grow faster and end up shading out the slower growing grafts but more commonly I have heard that the slower growing grafts just end up effectively starving to death.

    For your reader in Moondah I suggest they check out the below company found in Sheffield, Tas
    I found them when Peter Cundall suggested them a couple of years ago. I have found their prices quite reasonable for the amount of seed you get, their germination rates, packet information and general customer service when I have used their mailorder, I am located in the hills area of Vic, have been very impressive.

  • My aunt uses plain baking soda to brush her teeth-she wets the brush and lightly taps it on the baking soda so just a bit clings to it. She says that once you get used to the taste, it works fantastic!

    Another recipe is, I believe, equal parts of good quality sea salt, kaolin clay, baking soda, and a few drops of essential oil of spearmint or peppermint. I believe this is Heather nic an Fleisdeir’s recipe-she’s at but her site is currently under construction.

  • I’ve grown three 5 in one fruit trees, but I’ve espaliered all of them. The first two (apples) were doing beautifully after 4 years, but then I moved.

    The second is a pear that I planted 3 years ago. All the branches look healthy and are doing beautifully. I’m hoping they will set fruit well this year.

    I wouldn’t plant 5 in-one’s if I had room for two semi-dwarf fruit trees and good fruit production was my goal. Especially if I wanted enough fruit to store.

  • “By chance do you know of anyone who has planted a 5 in 1 fruit tree? It sounds good but is it really?”

    I suppose it depends on the kind of fruit. My grandfather apparently liked to play with grafting long before I was born. My grandmother still has the trees, which are now very large. He was doing 3 in 1 citrus (orange, lemon, and grapefuit).

    The trees are large and have produced lots of fruit, of all three kinds, every year for at least 40 years. I used to love climbing in them and trying to figure out which kind of branch I was sitting on.

  • Jen

    Toothpaste: Mix a little baking soda with a drop or two of peppermint oil, smear/dab your brush in it and away you go! Feels so refreshing and your teeth feel just like you left the dentist! The peppermint oil works as an “antiseptic”, but the paste will taste salty…

  • I use baking soda for quite a while now and it works for me. Mix two parts of bicarb with one part of fine sea salt or Celtic sea salt in a container. Add few drops of peppermint, sage or lemon essential oil and shake well.

  • I’ve been using baking soda and salt. A ration of four parts baking soda to one part sea salt. I add a couple of drops of essential oils, usually peppermint or lemon, but I’ve also used cassia and orange. Then sprinkle a little stevia in and shake it all up. I use an old bottle I had from Ecodent tooth powder and it works much better than an open container where I would have to dip the brush into the powder.

  • Not many responses, but it’s exciting to me, because I learned something from all of you!!!

    Thank you for your great help to other readers.

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