Nature and Environment

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1/28/2015

Neighborhood Micro Nurseries

I share this with the hope that others might be inspired to do the same or, if they’ve done this already, to share what they’ve done and how it’s worked.

We are creating two neighborhood micro-nurseries to raise plants that will be shared with neighbors for years to come. This is part of our 'Edible 'Hood' program, which is dedicated to creating a food oasis in our socio-economically diverse neighborhood.

Seed Money

We recently received $1,000 from the Pollination Project to purchase, share, and plant tree guilds in our neighborhood this coming spring. Our first two nurseries are the second phase and natural outgrowth of that gift which will allow us to raise diverse plants including production (fruit and nut) trees, nitrogen fixers, medicinals, insectories, and nutrient accumulators right in our neighborhood. Over time, as we select seed and raise the best specimens, these plants will be uniquely adapted to our neighborhood's environment. Or, as our friend and collaborator Neil Bertrando put it, we are creating “locally adapted genetics”.

Each year we will be able to harvest trees to give away to neighbors thus creating a neighborhood-scale food forest as well as fostering personal relationships, the glue of community. Furthermore, as our nursery and food forest grow and thrive at our urban permaculture homestead, it will serve as a great teaching tool and model for what is possible for others' homes. Little by little, guild by guild, over years to come, we will share plants and permaculture with a diverse urban population.

One nursery will go in our backyard, the other three houses down. With two sites so close together we'll be able to closely monitor and manage the nurseries. The second nursery will be in the tender care of Roberto and Sandra (both experienced gardeners from Guatemala) and their amazing 13-year old son, Jose (who loves to garden and grow trees from seed and pick fruit from trees he's scouted out on his bike and help us dig potatoes...did I mention he's just 13!). Together we'll be on our way to creating a more food, habitat, and friendship-rich neighborhood.

Like the Idea and Want to Help?

After crunching the numbers both nurseries can be started for a total of $400. We started a We the Trees campaign to meet that goal. If we raise more than that, we will purchase more bare root plants to give us a head-start on growth. Monies raised will be used for seeds, bare-root plants, and high-efficiency drip irrigation equipment.

We are partnering with Loping Coyote Farm & RT Permaculture, and River School Farm for this nursery project.

Kyle Chandler-Isacksen helps run the Be the Change Project, an urban homestead and learning center dedicated to service and simplicity and rooted in Integral Nonviolence. BTC was inspired by the Possibility Alliance in Missouri and was one of MOTHER EARTH NEWS' Homesteaders of the Year in 2013. They operate on the gift economy and their homestead, within view of the neon lights of downtown Reno, is electricity, fossil-fuel, and car free.

The photo is of Katy, Susan, Weston, and kids after helping to plant over 100 trees and plants on one property in the 'hood during a work-bee.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.



1/28/2015

Bamboo Flooring: The Green Alternative for Your Home

When my husband and I moved to a larger home, to accommodate our growing family, we decided to replace the ratty carpet in all three of the bedrooms with hardwood floors. Hardwood is easier to keep clean, more allergy resistant than the carpeting and we have always loved the beauty of wood. I remember attending a home improvement show and for the first time we heard about the concept of bamboo flooring. Bamboo? We had a discussion with a vendor there and were intrigued, but skeptical. Remember that this was almost 20 years ago, just when bamboo was coming into the flooring market as a viable alternative. I think when people think of bamboo, they don’t think of a strong durable product. People are conditioned to believe that the strong products must come from a strong tree like the mighty oak. Our skepticism was there at the time; we ended up installing beautiful laminate planking with an oak veneer. To this day, they look absolutely beautiful, but sometimes I often wonder about the possibilities with bamboo.

Recently, bamboo flooring has become more readily available on the market. It has been available for about 20 years, but has become more popular and a sought after “green” product just in the last 5 to 10 years. It has developed into a versatile, economical and definitely a green product: helping our earth in a multitude of ways.

First, bamboo is considered the fastest growing plant on earth and can be harvested for use in as early as 5 to 7 years. This contrasts greatly with many of the hardwoods, like oaks, that require 60 years before maturity.

Second, bamboo provides 30 percent more oxygen than a hardwood forest on the same area. It also helps to improve watersheds, prevent erosion, and helps to remove toxins from contaminated soil.

To find out more information about the possibilities, and options available with bamboo flooring I went to a local flooring company in my area: Century Tile. While there, I spoke with a very helpful and knowledgeable salesperson, Sarah Heide. Sarah explained to me the use of the Janka Hardness scale for wood flooring. The Janka scale is the industry standard for gauging the ability of various species to tolerate normal wear and tear. On this scale, Red Oak measured 1290, compared to bamboo which measured 1650. When processed to be used as flooring, bamboo is very resilient and easy to keep clean. The high hardness factor is achieved by adding several, thin layers of aluminum oxide (a tough ceramic coating).

With it’s high ranking of hardness, bamboo flooring is very durable. Yet, drastic temperature fluctuations can cause problems with the wood warping or gaping. Sarah, at Century Tile, explained to me that if a floor is put into a home that is sometimes vacant during the winter months, and the temperature drops dramatically, then this might cause problems with the wood. So when making the decision as to installing bamboo or another type of flooring, usage of the floor should be taken into consideration.

Bamboo is a viable option to traditional hardwoods and helps to provide a green alternative. One would think that since the wood can be more readily harvested that the price of bamboo would be less expensive, unfortunately that is not always the case. Sarah reminded me that the transportation costs from overseas have to be added into the cost of the product. Nevertheless, the cost for bamboo is not too much higher than a high quality hardwood floor; the added durability and longevity might balance the odds.

For more information about bamboo & some beautiful examples of bamboo in the home, check out Bamboo Flooring Facts.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.



1/27/2015

Our Be the Change Project is small-scale and locally-focused. We do a lot of gardening, teaching about and tinkering with appropriate technologies, experimenting with simple living, and doing service in our area to help our community thrive. In the past few months we have had the great pleasure of employing two “tools” to help make our dreams of a more connected, more just, more fruitful, and more fun world.

Wethetrees.png

The first is the Kickstarter of the Permaculture world called, We the Trees. Like Kickstarter, Indiegogo or other crowd-funding sites, We the Trees offers a platform to share projects and get funded. The difference is that it focuses on Permaculture or Green-themed projects from raising money to attend a Permaculture Design Course to purchasing a solar oven for a non-profit. An added bonus is that the site was started by friends of ours (one of whom, Christian Shearer, created the Panya Project in Thailand) and any money generated by the site (they take a 9 percent cut, like other crowdfunding sites) supports good people doing good work. We are currently using We the Trees to raise money for our first two Neighborhood Micro Nurseries (look for another blog post about that soon).  Check out our effort at We the Trees.

The second “tool” is not really a tool per se but an organization that provides seed money to small start-up projects.  The Pollination Project gives away $1,000 every day to social change agents whose projects focus on community, permaculture, arts, leadership development, and so on throughout the world.  We found out about them from two friends and since we received a Pollination Project grant for our “Edible Hood Program” another friend of ours has also gotten funded. Amazing!

pollinationproject.png

Check out both of these tools and good luck being the change in your neck of the woods.

Kyle Chandler-Isacksen is an urban homesteader who runs the Be the Change Project in Reno, NV with his wife and two young sons.  Their home is electricity, fossil fuel and car-free.  Kyle is also an avid natural builder offering a great three-week workshop this summer. Find out all about it at House Alive.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page. 



1/21/2015

I have read several articles recently from a variety of sources about green living, reducing footprints, and sustainability. Most recently and perhaps most sadly, I read that 2014 was the hottest year on record. None of the articles, however, have mentioned one of the greatest ways, in my opinion, of creating positive change in the world. Voluntary Poverty is a far more fundamental and effective way to decrease consumption and impact while increasing connection and improving life all around. Our family of four lives on about $7,000 a year (less this year) and our lives are more enjoyable, fuller, richer, healthier, more inspiring to others, and more interesting to ourselves. (Note: for comparison, the poverty level as set by the government for a family of four is around $22,000). This is nothing new of course; sages and mystics have been sharing the joys and even the necessity of voluntary poverty and simplicity for eons. This article is simply my two cents as a modern day American.

Katy in the $30 greenhouse.jpg

Voluntary Poverty Has to Be a Choice

Being poor, for most folks, is truly awful. But that is very different from choosing voluntary poverty. Voluntary Poverty needs to be a lifestyle choice rooted in care for the earth and each other with a great awareness of our serious global challenges and our roles in causing them. And, voluntary poverty is for those of us in a position to choose it. For example, my wife and I are white, well-educated, healthy, American citizens who were raised in loving families. In every way in this time and place we have the world at our fingertips - we were born on third base. And, because we know what our American corporate and consumerist lifestyles do to people on the other side of the tracks - be they in our country or, more commonly these days, abroad - we feel a responsibility to choose another path that is as life-affirming and as sustainable as we can make it while still remaining connected and participating in our native culture.

When I bring up voluntary poverty in groups and talks there is often an uncomfortable stirring among the participants. This is to be expected as we have all been raised in a culture of scarcity, where we are expected to be go-getters and not go-givers, where the “American Dream” and our entire cultural myth rests of the pursuit of wealth, comfort, and satisfaction through stuff. Listen to the news and it is plain as day: being a good American means being a good, active consumer. Many others have told how we’ve gotten here much better than I can. What I can offer is what we do as one family in response to the destructive systems all around us.

Creating Contexts

One of the most helpful tools at our disposal is creating contexts or environments that support how we want to live in the world. This is a huge step in that every time you can alter your environment, your foundations, a context, in your life, you no longer have to rely on willpower to push your way towards a life of greater authenticity. Here’s an example I’ve used before: We live without electricity. It doesn’t come into our home. Our meter has been removed. We have created an environment that starts at zero electricity. Why we do this is, on the one hand, to withdraw support from Big Energy (think coal mining, acid rain, oil tankers, wealth inequality, and so on) as well as limit the amount of cheap electric consumer goods (made in China, out of plastic…) that we’d inevitably welcome if our outlets supplied the juice. On the other hand, we are moving towards more and deeper connection with ourselves and with nature and spirit (the seasons, our natural biorhythms, light and dark, long rests in winter, time outside, plants and animals…). Living this way is so lovely I generally choke-up about it when I share this with others. Oh, and we also don’t have an electricity bill. So, without the switch and the plug right there calling me to use them, I don’t. Just by preventing electricity from entering our home we have brought our lives so much more in alignment with our values. For us this means a huge increase in our quality of life and a much lower impact on our precious earth.

The same is true, more so even because it is so foundational, for choosing Voluntary Poverty as a context. We purposefully do not make much money. We could - we’re both college educated and beyond with a variety of skills and long and successful job histories – but we don’t. With our limited bills, money for our gardens and animal care, home upkeep and improvement, educational opportunities, clothes and stuff for our children, transportation (gas if we borrow a car, the occasional bus and train fares…), bike tires, gifts, books…we make and use a little below $7,000 a year. By having less money to live on (and no savings), a host of feedback loops kick into motion. Here’s a list:

• We are more creative with our use of resources. We cannot run to Home Depot every time we need a part so we Scavenge for them, cultivate patience with projects, ask around and rethink, reduce, reuse, and recycle creating greater connections at each step.
• We are healthier. We bike, we garden, we don’t stress over jobs, we eat organic food, we play, we cultivate our hobbies, we live much more in tune with the seasons (no electricity), we live more slowly, use the light from beeswax candles, and on and on…
• We are wealthy in time. We have taken up instruments, developed our craftsmanship from pottery to natural building and permaculture. We also spend a lot of time with our kids!
• We are connected in our community. We are free to do our “work” and host community dinners, help neighbors start gardens, offer art classes for kids, make murals, orchestrate community improvement projects, distribute food and clothing, host workshops…We also have a network around our home that can help tend our place (gardens, animals) when we are away. It’s also amazing what shows up when you are available to receive, use, and share it: our little Be the Change project gives away over $200,000 worth of clothing each year from donations from the Common Threads program of the Patagonia company.
• We support the Gift Economy. Everyone loves to share their gifts and once the gift snowball gets rolling it keeps getting bigger and faster.
• We are home a lot! This means time with our kids, with my wife, our neighbors, friends, and folks who drop in. It means connection with land and seasons, too, at a local and personal level.
• We live more sustainably. Less consumption, more food growing, increased soil health and better habitat, less travel, passive solar heating and lighting, masonry wood heater, solar oven, locally-sourced wood, great use of salvaged materials, natural building and renovations using local clay and sand, greywater system, composting, great use of the urban the waste stream…
• Our lifestyles are less supportive of war. Very little of the money we generate goes to the government because we don’t pay income tax. There are estimates that the US government spends nearly half of every tax dollar on war (source: War Resisters League). Also, we use a very small amount of fossil fuels (in motors, from electricity generation, from consumer activity and stuff getting transported to us…) which are so linked to war.
• We are less supportive of extractive capitalism and the inherent inequalities it supports.
• We ask for help as we need it which connects us to neighbors and friends and encourages the gift economy.
• We are freer! We also unschool our kids so can take off on vacations or visits throughout the year.

This is a radical step that is hard to start but, year-by-year, less challenging to maintain. Speaking from experience, it has great rewards that far surpass the material rewards of lots of income. 

If you choose this path, good luck and keep in touch.  It’s nice to have a supportive tribe in such an endeavor.

Kyle Chandler-Isacksen runs the “Be the Change Project” with his wife and two young sons in Reno, Nevada. BTC is an urban homestead and learning center dedicated to service and simplicity and rooted I integral nonviolence. They were honored as one of Mother Earth News’ Homesteads of the Year in 2013. Check out their upcoming three-week cob/natural building workshop at House Alive!


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.



1/20/2015

Feathers In Car

Below is an excerpt from the opening chapter of Natasha’s book, The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience and Farming:

The long, lone road stretches out in front of me and Lucille’s steering wheel feels sturdy under my grip. Dust from the farm road flies off of her windshield and the wind stirs all the beads and feathers hanging from her rearview. We glow together in the light of the setting sun, heading south to the next farm…

...After four consecutive months driving across this country, I have driven almost 15,000 miles, traveled through 16 states, laid my head in 49 different places, interviewed 53 farmers and taken roughly 3,500 photographs. It’s been quite a journey. And it’s not over yet.

I never would have imagined that my desire to dig in the dirt would lead me here, digging instead into the stories of farmers of color across America—Black, Latina, Native, and Asian farmers and food activists. All I wanted to do when this all started [five] years ago was grow food, know exactly where my food was coming from, and live more in tune with the Earth.

But as I began to feel rooted in my life as someone who worked the land, I quickly realized all the cultural and historic baggage that came with that. My father’s ancestors worked in the fields as slaves, in fact they were slaves owned by my mother’s ancestors. I’m literally the product of ownership and oppression reuniting, as if to rewrite the story. So when I ended up in the fields myself, I felt deeply conflicted. It was as if all of my feelings about my family history and this country’s agricultural history were converging at once. It was as if my agrarian story was already written.

The Color Of Food 

Many people ask me what inspired the creation of my photographic storytelling project, now turned book, The Color of Food. My answer always starts off with, “Well, I was just a girl who wanted to farm and then…” And it’s that ‘and then’ which brings them on a very personal journey with me. To these curious folks I always launch into explaining how, after joining the food movement and the beautifully crunchy calvary of organic farmers picking up the pitchfork nationwide, I instantly felt more alive and connected to the earth than I ever had. I had found my path.

But at the very same time, I also began to question whether I, and other people like me, belonged on the farm. As a young woman of color, the food and agricultural industry — crunchy, organic, or not — didn’t seem to represent me, or other communities of color. Nor, for the most part, did the farmer and activist movements working to bring change to the industry. My heart sank with the realization that this was yet another arena communities of color were being excluded from.

But then, within, something lit up. Whenever I pushed seeds into the earth with my hands; when I bit into a freshly harvested tomato from the vine; when I knelt in the sun watching the sweat drip from my brow to the black soil below, I felt a pull to discover a deeper truth. It was a truth that recognized the historical inequities in agriculture and the food system for communities of color, but also carried beautiful legacies resiliently persisting in our communities.

It was a shining promise that if I began to dig with open eyes, I could unearth an agrarian story far different than the one I was seeing for people of color. It was a story where food deserts, farm labor or the history of oppressive sharecropping and slavery didn’t define us. It was a reminder — no, a validation — that stewarding this land and eating the diet of my ancestors was indeed a path laid out for me, for all of us.

This promise of truth tugging at me on the farm is how I ended up out on the road digging for answers. This, I always conclude, is how I found myself living out of a 1990 Oldsmobile station wagon during the second-hottest year on record toting my Canon, pen and notebook around from farm to farm, traveling from the red-clay farms of the Black South to the desert farms of the Navajo Nation.

This is the story of The Color of Food and I hope you’ll join me as I share its lessons, reflections, and inspirations along with my continued experiences as a brown girl farming.

Photo by Natasha Bowens


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.


1/15/2015

By 2025 half the newborn will be Autistic! That is the conclusion of Stephanie Seneff, Phd. a professor and researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She warned at a recent conference that, “At today’s rate, by 2025, one in two children will be autistic.” She noted that the side effects of autism closely mimic those of glyphosate toxicity, and presented data showing a remarkably consistent correlation between the use of Roundup on crops (and the creation of Roundup-ready GMO crop seeds) with rising rates of autism. Children with autism have biomarkers indicative of excessive glyphosate, including zinc and iron deficiency, low serum sulfate, seizures, and mitochondrial disorder."

Glyphosate - Pronunciation: gli-fə-ˌsāt - Chemical formula, C3H8NO5P

Roundup 

Common sense should tell you that anything that does what roundup does to a plant, a living being, cannot be good or harmless to any other living beings.

How to Detect Autism

Moms and Dads, if your child is at least 6 months old and does not smile, it’s time for some serious concern. For more information and guidance consult the Global Autism Collaboration.

With the age old adage that one picture is worth a thousand words, I present two pictures that nail the lid on the coffin or Roundup. Use of this chemical should be banned.

Follow this link, Glyphosate-based herbicides are toxic and endocrine disruptors in human cell lines, and you will also find that Roundup induces breast cancer cell growth.

Cognitive Disorders

It not just herbicides that are destroying the brains and immune systems of the newborn, children and adults. The psychologists are starting to figure out what orgain gardeners, farmers and consumers have been screaming about for years An article in Psychology Today notes that “low-dose exposure to a variety of common pesticides and conditions ranging from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder in children to neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson's disease in later life.”

Does the USA Really Feed the World?

The article explains that “By 2007, over 5 billion pounds of synthetic pesticides were sprayed, dusted, or coated on crops worldwide, according to the EPA.”

But the most striking statement made is that “The U.S. uses 22 percent of the total [pesticides] to produce 4.3 percent of the world's agricultural output.” That flies in the face of the ongoing lecture that US farmers feed the world.

spraying 

Silent Spring Rachel Carson, one of my heroes, warned us about the dangers of chemical contamination from agriculture and industry in 1962 with her book Silent Spring. Since then the number of chemicals and the contamination of food and soil has increased by to the present level of 5 billion pounds or about four and a half pounds per person.

References

Global Autism Collaborative

Stealth Attack

• The work of Stephanie Seneff


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page.


1/14/2015

When we decide to grow our own food, we begin to reintegrate ourselves into nature's processes. Our western culture has been separating humans from nature for thousands of years. We tend to put each aspect of our lives into cubicles. We go downtown to the office. We expect agriculture to be off over the horizon. We “preserve” nature in special areas away from our work and living spaces. Then we go home where we have little in common with our neighbors. By growing our own food we bring a piece of agriculture and a piece of nature home with us. If our neighbors are doing the same, we will have that in common with our neighbors. This is the beginning of what I call “a pattern of interactions” that can build upon itself.

When we separate nature and agriculture and business and housing, we prevent the resources produced in one process from contributing to the productivity of other processes. Each process imports resources and uses them up. The by products become waste products. Resources are depleted.

In an integrated system, all of the products of an interaction can cycle locally. Food scraps from the table can feed the chickens. Chicken waste can feed the worms. Worms can feed the chickens. Worm castings can provide the nutrients for vegetables. Vegetable trimmings can feed the chickens. The chickens, eggs and vegetables can feed the people producing the table scraps. I call that “closing the production loops.” That is the way a system becomes healthy and how resources are conserved. A closed loop system can increase its contained resources with each process cycle.

Winter Greens 

There are no experts in what I am writing about. Our culture emphasizes separation rather than integration. We have thousands of knowledge specialties and few generalists. We belittle the generalist as a “jack of all trades and master of none.” But if we rely solely on experts we will always suffer unintended consequences because the expert has little knowledge of aspects of system function outside their expertise.

When experts give their opinion they are speaking from a silo of information that forms the boundary of their expertise. If you ask an agricultural scientist they can tell you all about the chemicals you need to grow food in a sterile system. They know no more than you about integrating agriculture into a naturally healthy system. If you ask an ecology scientist they can tell you all about the interactions in a natural system. They know no more than you about integrating a natural system into a suburban habitat. Every one reading this article is as qualified as anyone else to figure this out.

Building a Complex Pattern of Interactions

Imagine a pristine woodland or patch of prairie. What you see is beautiful and productive. It is a collection of individuals of many different species living together in the same space. Careful observation reveals a pattern of interactions among the many species. Interactions involve an exchange of nutrients. Each individual takes its turn as a consumer, excreting nutrients through its life until it becomes the eaten. As the nutrients cycle through all of the species the volume and variety of nutrients builds to increase the vitality of the pattern (the system). When we remove species from the pattern by logging, plowing or using poisons, we reduce the vitality of the pattern and it loses beauty and productivity. The capacity of the system to retain resources is also reduced.

When a leaf falls on healthy soil, bacteria and fungi begin to break it down. If the right species are present the products of the leaf are taken up and passed around. A particular atom of carbon from the leaf might cycle locally in the soil for a long time before it is lost to the atmosphere again. The length of time it takes depends on the number of species interacting within that space. As the number of interactions increase, the amount of carbon tied up in the form of nutrients increases. As the diversity of interactions increases, new forms of nutrients are available to support new forms of interactions.

The same principles apply to an economy. An increase in the number of interactions within a trading area results in an increase in the volume and variety of resources available to engage in new interactions. The interactions can form a feed back loop that builds resources into the economy.

I have no doubt that local production of food using a complex pattern of interactions can eliminate waste in the food system. By integrating humans into beautiful productive living systems we also address climate change and poverty as discussed in previous blogs. Perhaps in a future blog we can explore how integrating processes addresses violence in our society.

Closing Production Loops

When we concentrate animals into large facilities for feeding we increase the distance between the animal and the food source. If you put 10,000 chickens in a single building it becomes impractical to return the manure to the fields where the feed is grown. Then the farmer growing the feed has to buy fertilizer to replenish his depleted soils and the animal feeder has a waste problem disposing of the manure. Because the volume of manure is so great, the species who could have processed the manure into fertility in the soil cannot do their job. As a rule, the further apart our processes operate the fewer places there are for individuals of the many species to participate. The material that could have been processed and the participation of the species that could have done the processing are both wasted. Because of that waste, resources cannot build up in the system. Without a resource base we are more vulnerable to things that might disrupt those production processes. What happens if the cheap supply of food is disrupted?

Chicken Coop 

We cannot place a value on growing our own food in terms of money. Money measures “market value”. We value money based on the value of the things we can purchase for the money. Think about the value of your access to food. If you have money, food is relatively cheap. As the amount of money you have goes down the cost of food goes up as a percentage of income. Even more insidious, the nutrition contained in the food goes down when we are forced to choose calories over nutrition because of price. Then the value of the food is reduced even as the cost goes up.

Now think of owning the capacity to produce what we value. Increasing fertility in our local ecosystems creates a secure supply of food and a beautiful place to live. What value should we place on that?

The problems we face as a society are systemic. The problems derive from the way our culture has separated things. The solution requires that we integrate system processes at a scale where resources can cycle. It is entirely feasible to close our production loops and integrate our production processes. When we do, we create cells of sustainability. We are then less vulnerable to disruptions in supply lines and our habitat grows healthier and more beautiful with each production cycle. Each of you is as qualified as anyone else to do it and it all begins with the choice to grow our own.

I have been writing about specific techniques in this blog.


All MOTHER EARTH NEWS community bloggers have agreed to follow our Blogging Best Practices, and they are responsible for the accuracy of their posts. To learn more about the author of this post, click on the byline link at the top of the page. 











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