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Slug Bread and Beheaded Thistles: Amusing & Useful Techniques for Nontoxic Housekeeping and Gardening Paperback – May 16, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (May 16, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767905423
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767905428
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,337,252 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Off with their heads!

Many homemakers and gardeners take the easy way out when it comes to exiling odors and banishing bugs--they use toxic chemicals that may be harmful to their families and the earth. Ellen Sandbeck has discovered that the all-natural alternatives are just as easy and effective to use, and that they are wickedly fun. Sandbeck's way of banishing thistles from her backyard kingdom is a case in point: she chops off their heads and lets them bleed to death. Slug Bread & Beheaded Thistles reveals all of her best tricks. From bedroom to bathroom, garden to lawn, your home will be clean and green and pest-free.

Explode cockroaches with baking soda and sugar

Freshen your car with coffee grounds

Keep out slugs with a bread dough that kills

Armor your plants with soap spray

Grow disease-resistant plants by putting sick ones in your compost pile

Eradicate crayon marks with mayonnaise

Protect your roses with a minefield of garlic

Get rid of raccoons with dirty laundry

Cure plant viruses with spoiled milk

About the Author

Ellen Sandbeck is a homemaker, gardener, and graphic designer who lives in Duluth, Minnesota.

More About the Author


Ellen Sandbeck was born in San Francisco in 1958, raised in Marin County, and graduated from the College of Creative Studies at U.C. Santa Barbara in 1979 with a B.A. in studio art. After graduation she quickly learned what "starving artist" meant.
She and her future husband started an organic landscaping business in the S.F. Bay Area in 1980. They started with tools bought on credit from their first client, and commuted to their first job (tools and all) via the B.A.R.T. (Bay Area Rapid Transit).
Huge amounts of library and field research helped Ellen Sandbeck formulate a philosophy and practice of organic landscaping which was efficient, healthy, and fun. Ms. Sandbeck lost 35 pounds in her first year of landscaping, without dieting or other exercise.
Ellen Sandbeck and her husband moved to Duluth, Minnesota in 1985, in search of a slower pace of life. Their family has now expanded to include two children, two dogs, tens of thousands of composting worms, and a small flock of laying hens.
Ms. Sandbeck grows and sells composting worms and has set up worm composting systems for individuals, schools, businesses, and the Federal Prison Camp in Duluth, where a one hundred foot long bin is used to compost food waste from the camp.
Ms. Sandbeck became a writer when a landscaping client volunteered her to write a booklet about non-toxic gardening and housekeeping for a non-profit group. Due to an enormous amount of stockpiled material, the booklet became a book, "Slug Bread & Beheaded Thistles," which Ms. Sandbeck then self-published. A few years later, much to Ms. Sandbeck's surprise, a literary agent was able to sell the reprint rights to "Slug Bread" to a major New York publisher. Three books later, Ms. Sandbeck is still surprised to be a writer.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Brenda VINE VOICE on July 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
I think what impressed me the most with this book, besides the content, is the way it's put together. Ellen Sandbeck gives the readers some attention-grabbing headings, which lead the readers to her informative information. Being homemaker, gardener, and graphic designer, Ellen Sandbeck is experienced in the know how of what works and doesn't work in our homes and gardens. She tells us how to use the right things in the correct method. She gives us up to date statistics and tells the truth about the chemicals we use in our homes and gardens to fight everyday common problems.
I loved the way she captured my attention with these captions: Explode Cockroaches with baking soda and sugar; Petrify a mouse with a plaster of Paris cocktail! Honestly, this one is a keeper and I highly recommend you buy it. It's will be money well spent! Brenda @ MyShelf.Com
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Ed Newman on June 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is a revised, upgrade of Ellen's original self-published volume by the same name. A lifetime artist and "original person" who has invested herself in this really unique, one of a kind book.... The book is worth price of admission for the graphics alone. Well researched, entertaining, informative.... a lot of superlatives could be used here. The newly released edition is nearly twice as long as the original, without dilluting any of the flavor. I don't think you could go wrong buying this book since if you did not care for it yourself it is guaranteed to be a good gift for someone you know. Lots of interesting trivia, only more useful than those trivia kinds of books.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Serendipity on April 5, 2005
Format: Paperback
I gave away my first copy of this book and have started buying more copies to give away as gifts. It is an intriguing introduction to organic gardening and housekeeping. The author's creativity and sense of humor make it a fun book to refer to over and over again. Loved it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Anne Berne on June 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Slug Bread and Beheaded Thistles, by Ellen Sandbeck saves my household from using wicked chemicals. Borax and sugar for ants, and rotten bugs in water are now what we do to keep our house and garden freer from pests. Thanks Ellen Sandbeck!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
Not only is this book informative, but it is funny. Some of the passages in this book will really make you burst out laughing. Plus, if you're interested in learning how to run your household without using noxious chemicals, give it a try.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 21, 2000
Format: Paperback
What a great book! Natural deterrants for everything from mosquitos to weed grass and if that's not enough the quotes are enough to keep you amply amused. This book has more tips in it's few pages than I have seen in much larger publications.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 20, 2000
Format: Paperback
What a delicious way to spend your summer evenings! (Both reading the book and following its advice.) In an age of technologically derived chemical holocausts for pests, how satisfying it is to make the battle personal again, without threat to yourself, children or pets. Take that you annoying bugs!
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