Vegetables for a Zone 6 Winter Garden

Seeing my neighbors walking down the sidewalk in t-shirts today, it’s easy to forget that it’s mid-late December. Especially when compared to the last two winters, which were some of the coldest on record.  But it’s also easy to forget that the last two winters were abnormal, at least in recent memory. In my lifetime in Michigan and Northern Illinois, we’ve had a white Christmas less than 50% of the time.  And so long as there isn’t snow on the ground, we can go outdoors and be greeted by some of our winter plant friends. Many seem to think you … Continue reading Vegetables for a Zone 6 Winter Garden

Designing Prosperity, Financial Permaculture and Harvesting Energy

Look at the diversity of life, the wealth and fertility of natural ecosystems, the beauty, the energy, vitality that nature has accumulated, generated and sustained over the ages, through cliamte changes, massive earthquakes and volcanoes, fridged ice ages, meteor collisions…  For me, the generative power of nature is utterly awe-inspiring, so it was a major relelvation to think that we could harness that power and put it to work creating the kind of life we want to live, by modelling our livelihood on its wise patterns.  Live in-tune with nature: Transform your life. Like this: And we can use models … Continue reading Designing Prosperity, Financial Permaculture and Harvesting Energy

Practical Permaculture: Catching and Storing Energy. And Fighting Vampires.

This is going to be a sensible, practical dispatch about making a living and learning to thrive in the modern world, but it starts with a journey into the deep, dark heart of the wild woods, under old growth forest, with cool, quiet air, the caw of a crow, and soft moss underfoot.  Because this is one of the few places left that make sense in a modern world of “consumers” and “consumption,” that seems to be doing it’s darndest to consume all of us. Behind you now! Feel its claws on your shoulders? Do not look at it. Feel its … Continue reading Practical Permaculture: Catching and Storing Energy. And Fighting Vampires.

Spiritual Abundance

The Great Eastern Sun Rises over a Forest Garden By Rachelle N. Yeaman, Guest Contributor The word “spiritual” is going to put some (most?) folks off right away. We’re uncomfortable with it. Many of us are quietly afraid that permaculture won’t be taken seriously if it’s associated with tree-hugging nonsense. Only numbers can prove the importance of what we strive to do. Many of us have incredibly complicated relationships with the religions of our childhood, and whether we still practice or not, we don’t want to be preached at on permie blogs. And in any case, does spirituality really have any place in real conversations about real problems? The world … Continue reading Spiritual Abundance

Busy Production Day

Busy day in a busy season as we try to process and store as much of our 2015 forest garden yield as possible. Since we keep pretty busy, all the storing we do has to be really high-value, such as wines, salt and oil cured vegetables, and medicinal herbs, tinctures and teas.  Today, that meant a marathon of drying teas and processing country wines.  This was the first year we processed Valerian in any quantity, which was a treat, kind of like working aromatherapy. While I’ve often heard the root referred to as “musky” or unpleasant, I think it’s wonderful. … Continue reading Busy Production Day