Small Farm, Real Profit: Mother Earth News

(A few goodies from our garden at Lillie House.) Add up 1 part impending ecological catastrophe WITH 1 notoriously unhealthy food system PLUS 2 decades of declining economic opportunity, and you’re sure to get a crazed North American obsession for finding meaningful work on the land. With real incomes declining since the 70s, unpaid work hours sky-rocketing while paid work hours per capita decline, it’s no wonder that more and more people are looking at their back yards as a way to make an income, while simultaneously providing healthier food for their communities and fighting the lead cause of climate … Continue reading Small Farm, Real Profit: Mother Earth News

The Sunchoke or Jerusalem Artichoke

Want an amazing edible landscape plant with the beauty of wild sunflowers, that’s a hard worker in the garden, a high quality medicinal, a great vegetable and also an extremely productive “carb” crop?  Yes, yes, the sunchoke, or Jerusalem artichoke is all that and a bag of chips. Like literally, they make really, really great chips.  But that’s just the start of their culinary potential. While I’m personally not too fond of the cooked, unprocessed vegetable, the thinly sliced raw tuber (in small amounts) is a great crunchy stand-in for water chestnuts in salads, and when processed, it becomes nearly … Continue reading The Sunchoke or Jerusalem Artichoke

Fall clean up VS. chop & drop, mulch, and wildlife habitat

Question and Discussion: Eliminate debris to reduce pests and diseases (clean garden practice) VS mulching, chop & drop and creating wildlife habitat: which is better?  Question from one of our students:  “I’ve read that one major way to inhibit garden pests organically is to eliminate debris to get rid of places the pests hide.  But you taught us the value of mulching and chop and drop which also make sense.  So I have been putting freshly chopped leaves down in the fall.  I think it helps with weeds and retaining moisture and must also add organic content.  But I am … Continue reading Fall clean up VS. chop & drop, mulch, and wildlife habitat

The Caveman Bucket List: 20 Peak Experiences for a Priceless Life

That’s just an awful selfie I mean, with all of Japan’s beautiful architecture and stunning mountain-top views, why would zen master Hakuin, known to have travelled far and wide in search of enlightenment, choose to depict himself sitting in his boring old zen seat, with grandma slippers and a feather duster? Boring! Everybody knows this image would have earned WAY more likes and follows if he’d struck a pose in front of the Yellow River, panning some duck face and flashing a hand sign. At least put on some sweet new kicks, bro-friend! Did the poet HanShan exclaim “yolo!” as … Continue reading The Caveman Bucket List: 20 Peak Experiences for a Priceless Life