Water Footprint (Fin Print?)

Water-wise “Hugelkulture” terraces planted with a Poluculture including Strawberries This year, members of our household used an average of 26.5 gallons of water per day each. Just imagine emptying 25 gallon jugs of water, or transporting them from the store in the car! And yet, several sources, including the EPA, tell me that the average American uses 100 gallons of water per day at home (including outdoor water use, like lawn/garden.) Ironically, Michigan, a relatively wet state with plentiful rain fall, is one of the heaviest water users per capita. Yet another proof of Jevon’s Paradox, that Michigan’s plentiful supply … Continue reading Water Footprint (Fin Print?)

The Zen of Permaculture.

Risa Bear, a Blogger I’ve read for a while now, has started an interesting new blog on “Buddhism and Permaculture.” It’s basically an effort towards cross-referencing the tenants of the two systems. Risa’s thoughts have inspired me to post a brief series on the topic here.  I think it may yield some very practical results that can be used in our lives and our gardens.  Think about all the great books on a wide range of topics with titles like “the inner game of this,” or “the Zen of that,” or “the Dao of this, that and the other.” I … Continue reading The Zen of Permaculture.

Kalamazoo Food Sovereignty and Security.

Just hypothetically… The city of Kalamazoo, with a population density of 3,009/Sq. Mile, breaks down to more than 1/5th an acre, or more accurately, over 8,600 square feet of city space per person. Give each of us the average American home space of around 1,000 sq feet. Then Give each of us double that for work, school, parking… and perhaps there’s 5,000 sq feet per person left.  And there are many plantable windows, porches, balconies, roof-tops, etc. Grow-Bio-intesive research has found it possible to grow a complete (though possibly “boring”) diet for one person, plus all of the fertility inputs … Continue reading Kalamazoo Food Sovereignty and Security.

Matching the Investment to the Neighborhood for Better Cities

I’d like to share a “tool” we use when making spending choices for our home.  We usually know what kind of house we want to live in. And we know the kind of neighborhood we want, too. But we don’t often think about how the investment choices we make for our house can either work for or against the kind of neighborhood we’d like to live in. And sometimes the impacts can be counter-intuitive. Here’s an example of well-meaning investment with a negative community impact that can be observed in my neighborhood, and other neighborhoods in the Kalamazoo core: Over-investing. … Continue reading Matching the Investment to the Neighborhood for Better Cities