the irresistible fleet of bicycles


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“agriculture has been one of the greatest blessings and curses to civilization”

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Curious about the title to this post? An upcoming three-day workshop in Stephentown, NY will dive deep into our problematic agricultural system and how permaculture and restorative practices can provide solutions. Taught by restoration agriculture guru Mark Shepard, the workshop runs from April 28th through April 30th at beautiful Back the Land Farm.

As we have inherited the tradition, agriculture requires massive inputs of energy to sow, harvest, and spread various biocides.   This has had devastating effects on the environment and society.  Restoration Agriculture seeks to use what we know about ecology to create food-producing systems that will require no additional energy inputs and  yield an abundance for generations to come.

It will be a fun and inspirational weekend! Camping is available on site, lunch and dinner are provided, and the whole kit and caboodle costs $550 with some early bird discounts available. Learn more and buy tickets HERE and read Mark Shepard’s bio HERE.


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Disillusioned by a cultural story of consumption and alienation, a newly married couple are called to action. Carrying with them their unborn child, they embark on a year-long journey around the UK, searching for the seeds of an alternative culture and with it hope for the future.

we the uncivilized: A Life Story resonates deeply with our sick and nagging sensation that our world of strip malls, fossil fuels, and convenience is not nourishing– in any sense of the word– to the people who live in it. The film is a “grassroots documentary project” that speaks to and with activists, artists, permaculturalists, and others seeking alternative ways of living with each other and within nature.

The film has just wrapped up a year-long tour, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a chance to see it! Organize a screening in your own community. We’d LOVE to see this come to the US.


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Haiku Aina Permaculture Initiative

Respected Internet explorers and seekers of Harmony with Nature; welcome to this entry portal, introducing you to our work at the Ha’iku Aina Permaculture Initiative (also known as HAPI).

The project, as we see it, is a way of applying principles of agroforestry and permaculture in an area of rainforest on this beautiful island in the South Pacific Ocean.

Integrating principles and wisdom of native Hawaiian spiritual culture, we are aspiring to create a model of soil renewal, reforestation, and human interaction with nature in a paradigm of respect, harmony, and adherence to the natural law.
Welcome to our vision and our world. We hope you will find something here that can serve and inspire you as well.

(In the Hawaiian Language, which is filled with mysteries and hidden meanings, “HA” represents the Breath of Life – The Spirit, “I” represents The Self, and “KU” means “rising upright” it is the name also given to the Rising Sun. So Hai’ku, the name of the place where our project is located can be said to represent The True Self Standing Upright in Spirit).

 


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he may not yuzu, but his dragon flies

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Greenhorns Blog reader John D. Galuska, Ph.D., followed up our post on the cold-hearty Asian citrus the Yuzu, by sending us some pictures and information about the Flying Dragon fruit. The Flying Dragon is a dwarf cultivar of Trifolate orange, native to China and Korea, and supposedly hearty to USDA zone 6. Galuska, who runs Grown In Town Farmstead in Bloomington, IN, writes:

I’ve been growing Flying Dragon at my urban farm in Bloomington, Indiana for about 6 years (outside year round in Zone 6). The photos I’ve attached are from one of the larger trees I have now. It had a great deal of fruit this year and seems to be thriving. I know of only a few other growers who have mature Flying Dragon trees in Indiana, but the word is spreading.

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There are a few other reports of this citrus around the internet. By some accounts, it is not very tasty, but but there are people out there that use it for a variety of things including a citrus-ade, marmalade, allergy-aid, and syrups.

Do you grow a cold-heart citrus or other rare fruits? We’d love to keep hearing from readers who are pioneering rare fruit varieties in their communities and bio-zones.


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Looking for some permaculture inspiration? Well, we’ve got some for you! Bustan Qaraaqa, in the West Bank’s Jerusalem, is a “permaculture project promoting sustainable, creative solutions to problems of environmental degradation and food and water insecurity facing the local community.”

Bustan Quraaqa’s website showcases some of the most beautiful and successful permaculture installations we’ve ever seen, with a large emphasis on rainwater harvesting.

Dependence on groundwater is incompatible with a future of water and food security for Palestinian community.  It is also a daily waste of resources chronically depressing agricultural production through soil salination.  The Beit Qad Farm is designed to harvest the winter rain and build soil humidity year after year for a verdant, thriving farm with no need for other water sources.

They research ecological farming techniques, harvest rainwater, and employ a host of environmental educators that teach school and community groups and occasionally offer permaculture design certification. The farm features a tree nursery, a food forest, and structures made from 100% locally recycled products.

We think they’d be a great project to support.