We Deserve Beauty: Finding Inspiration in Patterns

“When you put beauty in a place that has none, that’s a game changer.”  — Ron Finley   To live in a beautiful, uplifted situation with dignity should not be seen as an exclusive privilege for the elite. It is the birthright of every being born to this earth. The idea that rest of us should content ourselves with stodgy utilitarianism is oppressive. We all deserve beauty.  To surround oneself with beauty is old, powerful magic. It’s no wonder it was seen as so revolutionary, so dangerous for Ron Finley to create a beautiful food forest garden in his poor LA … Continue reading We Deserve Beauty: Finding Inspiration in Patterns

What is Permaculture – A Primer in Pictures and Patterns – PART 1

Is it a community of doomer hippies? An incomprehensible internet meme for do-gooders who hate lawns and love fermenting things? A clever rebranding scheme for the organic farming movement thought up by wayward corporate marketing gurus? A cult for Gaia-worshipping environmentalists? A secret society for foraging herbalist hedgewitches? WHAT IS PERMACULTURE?  After 6 years, 100 posts, over 100,000 page views, and hundreds of followers, I’ve never written a post answering that question!  Why?  Because there are already so many good treatments of the topic on the nets. Why re-re-reinvent the wheel when the internet’s rolling along just merily without me. … Continue reading What is Permaculture – A Primer in Pictures and Patterns – PART 1

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

The Era of Edible Forest Gardening has Arrived

(Edible Forest Garden at Lillie House, filled with food, flowers and medicinal and culinary herbs.) Nature is calling us home, and people all over the world feel it, the urge to reconnect with their landscapes in a more meaningful way than the endless struggle against lawn and weeds. And the forest garden – a designed ecosystem filled with ripe fruits, lush vegetables, craft materials and medicine that integrates native plants and wildlife habitat – is the ideal representation of our rightful human relationship with the world, cultivating the wild, working with ecosystems to meet our needs instead of reaping them … Continue reading The Era of Edible Forest Gardening has Arrived

This Hack Get’s Mother Nature to Fight Weeds for You: Fortress Plants

  Look: this is a picture of a vegetable at war with the lawn.  Given all the attention around the “food not lawns” movement, you might think I’m being metaphorical. But an experienced gardener will understand that the veggie patch is ALWAYS fighting a war for survival against lawn and “quack grass” greedily trying to take over any bit of land it can get access to.  “I’ve lost my garden completely to quack grass!!!”is one of the most common tales of garden woe, and usually the only recourse is to completely start over.  But LOOK AGAIN: Here, it is the … Continue reading This Hack Get’s Mother Nature to Fight Weeds for You: Fortress Plants

Community Supported Forest Gardening Program!!!

If you’ve ever thought of starting a forest garden or food forest, we’ve got 2 days left to get the early registration price for our Community Supported Forest Gardening program for 2016. This program gives you everything you need to design, plan and implement your own forest garden project, including plants, design consultation, a complete course and a community of like-minded gardeners to learn with: https://lilliehousekzoo.wordpress.com/the-basic-home-garde…/  It also comes with complete access to our entire HUGE collection of perennial edibles, self-sowing vegetables and ideal forest garden plants. I’m especially proud of the course we put together for this program – it’s … Continue reading Community Supported Forest Gardening Program!!!