Archive for the 'Organic Gardening' Category

Permaculture Productivity 8 Times “Possible”

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

An Unreasonable.Org post links to an energetic rebuttal of a claim that permaculture is an impractical “hippy dippy, hunter gatherer” farming system.
Quoting permaculturist David Blume on his experience:
“My yields were often 8 times what the USDA claims are possible per square foot. My soil fertility increased dramatically each year so I was not achieving my […]

Grow Your Own Coffee At Home

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

Following up the Coffee to Biodiesel story, it seems to me if you could grow your own coffee, as described at home coffee roasting supplier Sweet Maria’s, that would be great. Yeah.
Supposedly, a percentage of already processed (but not roasted) beans can become viable sprouts. After a couple of years a coffee tree can become […]

Waste Coffee Grounds Turned Into Biodiesel

Friday, December 12th, 2008

This Slashdot post links to an American Chemical Society article about a report by researchers here in Nevada, published in The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, about the impact of turning waste coffee grounds into biodiesel.
“The resulting coffee-based fuel — which actually smells like java — had a major advantage in being more stable […]

THIS May Lower The Conviction Rate

Thursday, December 11th, 2008

There are advocates of hemp for biofuel, just as there are for tobacco.
That’s my excuse for including this anti-drug-war item on a permaculture blog. I’m also sick of seeing COPS style reality shows which glorify the destruction of our freedom. The latest atrocity is a new show called Heimatschutzministerium, or to translate from the […]

Modern Victory Movement’s War Veggies

Friday, November 28th, 2008

It’s harvest time!
One of Boing Boing editor Mark Frauenfelder’s recent posts about organic home gardens, War Vegetable Gardening, starts with the following review of a classic book with the same title and continues with an excerpt from the book.
“Daniel Bowman Simon of The Who Farm sent me a link to this scanned book: War Vegetable […]

“Fuel,” Formerly “Fields of Fuel,” Fourwalls

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Great photos from the opening of Josh Tickell’s award winning documentary film, Fuel, may be seen at The Fuel Film website. The FAQ page introduces a variety of alternative energy methods and their advantages.
The trailer for Fuel’s previous incarnation as Fields of Fuel is no longer available, but unless I’m misunderemembering, the new one takes […]

A Dozen Tips For Raising Chickens

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

While following a link about growing your own chicken feed at A Homesteading Neophyte blog, I found a reference to Backyard Poultry Mag in the comments.
The latest issue caught my eye with an article titled “One Dozen Tips and Tricks to Simplify Poultry Keeping” by Gail Damerow, with information about things to do for the […]

Million Dollar Maggots in Costa Rica

Sunday, November 9th, 2008

Flies came in and transformed orange peels on waste lands over time, replacing invasive grass species and weeds with a lush forest rich in biodiversity. Daniel Janzen’s approach cost $3,000 per episode compared to $600,000 spent doing the same work with human labor and tractors. After orange juice is squeezed and oil from the skin […]

Landslide for Marijuana Initiatives

Friday, November 7th, 2008

Boing Boing’s Mark Frauenfelder linked to a Marijuana Policy Project chart showing that 9 out of 10 marijuana decriminalization initiatives passed across the nation. The prison guards in California caused the only defeat, of Prop 5.
“Proposition 5: Expand the number of drug offenders diverted from prison into treatment and decriminalize the possession of up to […]

The Disinfecting Bamboo Curtain

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

An article at TreeHugger about bamboo sheets (and socks) was brought to my attention after reading that bamboo sheets and towels were required for LEED certification of sustainable hotels. Bamboo has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties, thus requires no pesticides when grown.
“A quantitative antibacterial capability test was performed by the China Industrial Testing Center (CTITC) […]

Prisons Going Green

Sunday, November 2nd, 2008

An AP news item at Philly.com that I saw linked from Fark (!) has the headline “Energy hogs: prisons now recycle, grow own food.”
Excerpt:
“LITTLEROCK, Wash. - Of all the things convicted murderer Robert Knowles has been called during his 13 years behind bars, recycler hasn’t been one of them.”
“But there he was one morning, pitchfork […]

Six “How To Homestead” Schools

Friday, October 24th, 2008

A Living Off The Grid article lists six schools with homesteading courses. The list includes Homesteading Heritage Center for Essential Education (Texas), Apple Family Farm (Indiana), Muller’s Lane Farm (Illinois), The Institute of Urban Homesteading (California), Pioneer School of Homesteading (Michigan), and Self-Reliance Resources (North Carolina).
The schools are reasonably described with web links to each […]

“Open Source Ecology” Ongoing Activity

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

The OpenFarmTech.org site has an active community applying the open source ideas from computer technology to off grid homesteading and local farming.
The OpenFarmTech.org folks are as enthusiastic about small scale cheap (and ultimately free) automation like RepRap “Wealth Without Money” ideals as I am, except they are actually deploying RepRap and other doodads applied to […]

O’Naturals: Local, Organic. . .Fast Food!

Monday, October 13th, 2008

The founder of O’Naturals, Gary Hirshberg, with five organic fast food restaurants running, is beginning franchise operations. O’Naturals began with his frustration with only junk food available on the run, so his chain serves up speedy organic meals, beyond only sprouts and tofu, and not “just to the Birkenstock crowd.” He plans to take on […]

Permaculture Design Concept Video

Friday, October 10th, 2008

The Culture of Permaculture blog has a couple of cool posts that caught my attention (via Google Alerts). One is a link to the World Food Garden site and the other is a link to the Permaculture: Quiet Revolution video.
[Update: The IPC 8 video seems to have gone missing. Fine. Let’s watch this cool BBC […]

Hippy Gourmet Visits Off-Grid Mansion

Monday, September 29th, 2008

From the description at YouTube:
“In this segment from Hippy Gourmet TV we visit with Michael Funk, an organic food entrepreneur who lives in a sustainable home that runs off of solar power and solar hot water. On the Yuba River, Michael is also involved with SYRCL (the South Yuba River Citizens League) - established to […]

Grow Your Own Herbal Viagra?

Friday, September 26th, 2008

This just in! (That’s what she said.) This Boing Boing post points out a New Scientist report titled “Horny goat weed could be better than Viagra.”
“Viagra’s active compound, sildenafil, works by inhibiting an enzyme called phosphodiesterase-5 (PDE5). Because PDE5 helps control blood flow to the penis, inhibiting PDE5 promotes male erection.”
“Dell’Agli and his colleagues tested […]

Who Will Pop The Corn In Your Utopia?

Friday, September 12th, 2008

Watching satellite HD channels on an off-grid homestead without a handy bowl of freshly popped snack food seems like a serious human rights violation to me.
That horrifying snackless scenario prompted some serious research. Is there a practical alternative to driving to the store for that vital popcorn? Or can we just grow it ourselves?
After laboriously […]

Seedball Popularizer Masanoba Fukuoka Dead at 95

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

Ausearth reports “Remembering a Great Man: Masanobu Fukuoka”.
Fukuoka’s work was described here recently in this post, which included links to free versions of his books (perhaps only legal in Australia).
“What impressed me about Fukuoka’s approach, even beyond “minimal labor,” is what he called “do nothing” agriculture. Now that’s what I’m talking about! I can do […]

Urban Raised Chickens

Monday, September 1st, 2008

Matt Mayer from Groovy Green recommends more recently published books about raising chickens in his post, “Raising Chickens on an Urban Homestead,” than I did in my post, “Eggs OK Twice Per Day.”
Matt’s article is the first in a series of posts about his undertaking to raise chickens in an urban environment. Good luck to […]

Eggs OK Twice Per DAY!

Saturday, August 30th, 2008

For those who aren’t ready for full-scale veganism, you might consider Chickens In Your Backyard: A Beginner’s Guide.
During the 1970s, my dad did raise chickens in his backyard in suburban Walnut Creek along with some corn and for real craziness, a couple of sheep.
I used to go out to the chicken coop and […]

Permaculture in Nir Moshe Village, Israel

Sunday, August 17th, 2008

Adamama, according to their web site, was founded in 2003 “for adopting ways of sustainable lifestyle, agriculture and recycling, and as a place for finding the balance between man and nature.”
And here’s an excerpt from a Haaretz article about “an anarchist group” in Nir Moshe.
“The journey began with a visit to Nir Moshe, where a […]

Rat Terrier Dogs for Natural Pest Control

Monday, August 4th, 2008

Organic farmers should appreciate the vigilance of the rat terrier breed of dog against rabbits, squirrels, rats and other nibblers of your produce. Calmer than Jack Russell terriers, rat terriers are also more appropriate as a typical family dog.
A Boing Boing post by Cory Doctorow about rats in an upscale L.A. community got me thinking […]

Tobacco for Food and BioFuel

Monday, July 28th, 2008

In An Inconvenient Truth, Al Gore said he grew tobacco among other crops on the family farm in Carthage, Tennessee during summer vacations in his youth. Gore also likened what he views as today’s suppression of global warming evidence by Big Oil to the cover up long ago by Big Tobacco of the health risks […]

Mailbag: Root Cellar for Winter Vegetables?

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

Patrick Stanton asked me about root cellar requirements in an email message.
“I had a technical self-reliance question that you could address on the blog, MLL list, or directly: What are the requirements of a root cellar? We have a dirt floor, brick walled basement, but what alterations would be needed to store food through the […]

Pest Control: The Birds and the Bees

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

A Boing Boing post links to a National Geographic article about honeybees used in Tokyo to protect seabirds (terns) from attack by crows. A related NatGeo story tells of a gun club hunting crows at a city’s request.
Wizard Saruman isn’t going to like this.
A commenter on another site said “crows are the new dogs” after […]

Greywater Guerrillas

Friday, July 11th, 2008

Greywater Guerrillas help stop pollution of the water supply by using greywater to irrigate trees and other plants in the garden.
Greywater is water that flows down sink, shower, and washing machine drains–but not the toilet. Greywater may contain traces of dirt, food, grease, hair, and household cleaning products. While greywater may look “dirty,” it is […]

Ron Paul Forums: “Project Off The Grid”

Monday, July 7th, 2008

A new project that seems at first blush to be Hobbiton Meets Starship Troopers (because its founding leaders are veterans) is the formation of an off-grid community designed to provide mutual aid and support with a “family values” emphasis.
The founders already have 100s of acres to start, from the 419 area code on the site […]

Admirable Vegetarian Urban Homesteaders

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

Just because PETA drives me crazy, don’t think I hate vegetarians. The Path To Freedom family in the video is a model for everyone.
I’m all for Food Not Lawns, Edible Estates, and Urban Homesteading if you’ve already got a house in the ‘burbs. My only quibble is that for renters looking to buy a […]

PETA for Pesticides?

Monday, June 30th, 2008

Gardeners can fight pests while remaining organic by using beneficial insects to eat harmful bugs.
The fly in this ointment is that one of PETA’s recent campaigns is to treat the sale of common predator bugs the same as cows in the slaughterhouse or dogs from the pet store.
Don’t we get enough puritanism from the right? […]