Why didn’t the Victory Gardens last? Honest, controversial answer: Because they were stupid. Everyone is saying “Americans were so stupid to give up their victory gardens!” No, our grandparents were actually really smart about this sort of thing! That’s why they quit! In Permaculture Design, we look for “type 1 errors” systems designed to fail. Victory gardens were full of type 1 errors. The classic Victory garden was based on an American type of horticulture that was based on slavery, agrochemicals, plastics, and fossil fuels, in a time before anybody cared at all about ecology or biodiversity, not to mention … Continue reading Why Didn’t Victory Gardens Last? They weren’t Meant To.
As a promoter of home and community herbalism as a holistic way of enhancing health, I wanted to weigh in on a general home herbalism program for dealing with coronavirus, as well as a few controversies going around, especially the elderberry controversy (some folks on social media are issuing dire warnings against taking it at this time.) So I would like to share and summarize a few resources that I have found helpful, which others more qualified and really know their stuff have already put together. So to start with, it is a good idea to know and follow the … Continue reading Holistic Health for Coronavirus and the Elderberry Controversy
If you spend much time on this site, you’ll notice I spend a lot of time talking about failure. I’ve written about how most gardens fail, most action organizations fail, most community gardens fail, most businesses fail, 90% of intentional communities fail, and farms fail at a higher rate than any other business! This site is a total bummer! Good thing I post all those pretty pictures from our garden! That’s because I am a Permaculture designer, and Permaculture is all about solving problems by DESIGN. That means recognizing that a lot of our problems come because we have systems … Continue reading The Social Type One Errors that Cause Projects to Fail
The core of the Transformative Adventures approach is to create gardens that return super high value for minimal effort and cost, and that starts with good crop selection. If we want gardens that are easy and high value, we need to start with rock star powerhouse plants! So, here’s a list of absolute top-performing powerhouse temperate perennials to build a garden around. These are perennial plants (meaning they return year after year without replanting) that are so easy to grow they’re actually hard to kill and may even become “weedy.” But they’re also great ecological performers, improving the health and … Continue reading Ten Powerhouse Perennial crops for your Garden
As a teacher, trainer, speaker and author on homesteading, sustainable living, activism, art, and farming there is one key “complaint” I have heard from people literally hundreds of times: They get stuck. They can’t figure out what they want, or … Continue reading How to ACTUALLY Transform our Lives and Achieve our Dreams
(This is a re-formatted edition of one of our first major pieces on life design, regenerative finance and Transformative Adventures, originally published to our old site in 2013, then transferred to blogger in 2015, and now reposted here. I’m thankful that I’ve probably had nearly 100 people write to me or comment on this article over the years.) 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, … Continue reading Practical Permaculture: Catching and Storing Energy. And Fighting Vampires.
(This is the third part in a series, but it stands alone. See parts 1 and 2 for more depth) For a lot of us homesteaders, permies, eco-minded people, artists, activists and simple-livers, money is part of the problem, “the source of all evil” and even bringing it up makes people suspicious that you might be some sort of counter-revolutionary capitalist stooge. In our crowd, it can be tough to convince people that talking about money just might be as important as eating weeds. No wonder so many of the best people I know are stressed out, in financially precarious … Continue reading How to Save and Invest Regeneratively: The FIRE/FREE Path to Financial Freedom
In just the last week, I’ve talked to two different people who were under the impression that the word “Permaculture” primarily referred to a particular labor arrangement where one party owns the land and productive assets and another party does … Continue reading Permaculture – It’s just feudalism?
It’s part of our mission to share farmhouse recipes that are easy, quick, and very flexible to help people use more of their home-grown produce, and these hushpuppies fit that bill. Most of these easy seasonal recipes come from old-world cultures where they evolved over time. But this classic is distinctly American. Corn is certainly the easiest calorie staple crop for home gardeners to grow, store and process. And it also provides a very high value to the grower, since non-GMO, organic corn is very rare and expensive on the US market. And these hushpuppies also put the tender emollient … Continue reading Farmhouse Cooking: Marshmallow Green Hushpuppies
For all their beautiful, dramatic forms and mathematical perfection, the creation of sea shells does not require high-tech design tools, expensive materials, a volley of charismatic leaders giving TED talks, or months of grueling meetings. The nautilus doesn’t require a … Continue reading Transformative Adventures