Nature & Environment

Explore how sustainability creates a connection between our communities and the natural world that sustains us.

A Fairy's-Eye View of My Garden

By Blythe Pelham

I recently spent time visiting the micro worlds of my garden. It always thrills me to do such a thing and I often find surprises.

Sludge Train: Toxic Biosolids Permitted in Virginia

By Lidia Epp

The burden of municipal and industrial waste disposal is transformed into a commercial enterprise, with the careless disregard for growing concerns over the risks it poses to the human and animal health and to the natural environment.

How Soil Erosion Contributes to Desertification and Dust Storms

By Lester R. Brown

Disappearance of topsoil causes desert expansion and crop reduction in regions across the world.

Sustainability of World Agriculture

By Lester R. Brown

Population growth, climate change and resource consumption must be addressed to avoid food system failure.


Ecotourism Fun in San Diego

By John D. Ivanko, Inn Serendipity

With temperatures typically in the 70s or 80s and plentiful sunshine, there’s rarely a day you can’t catch the sunset, go for a ocean kayak trip or bike some of the hundreds of miles of bike trails or pathways that weave through San Diego.

Garden Friendship with a Yellow Agriope Spider

By Kurt Jacobson

I have a long-standing fear and dislike of spiders — especially big ones. You could say I was not a likely candidate for conversion to a spider lover. This story is about the Yellow Agriope spider I found in my tomato plant and the unlikely garden friendship we developed.

Wildfire Preparedness: Make a Risk Assessment, Mitigation Strategy, and Evacuation Plan

By Bruce McElmurray

Wildfire is our greatest threat living in the mountains with all the dead vegetation and dead trees providing fuel. Here in Southern Colorado, where population density is less and forest growth is thick, sensible people plan ahead to mitigate wildfire risk. Plan ahead with these tips for wildfire mitigation.

A Murmuration of Starlings

By Jerry Dennis

An examination of flocking behavior in starlings and the beauty and mystery we see when those flocks, or “murmurations” are extraordinarily large and active. Also an inquiry into the 500-year-old history of collective nouns for groups of animals.

dairy goat


Aug. 5-6, 2017
Albany, Ore.

Discover a dazzling array of workshops and lectures designed to get you further down the path to independence and self-reliance.