Fruit pickin’

Peaches

The idea of eating locally and in-season just makes sense. Foods that grow locally are produced in the very same environment in which we're nested. Thus it’s quite likely that they contain the essential micro-nutrients which, quite naturally, work well for us. The “in-season” concept, in fact, makes more and more sense when we start to really study nature. Think about it: in the spring, … [Read more...]

Green waste

Waste not want not WWI poster

I was riding my bicycle into town on trash collection day last week and noticed that one of my neighbors had filled their can with weeds and other green waste. They had obviously cleaned up their yard and had accumulated a lot of green material in the process. But, I stalled out in trying to figure out why they had put it in their trash can? Weeds, grass clippings, twigs and other cuttings are, … [Read more...]

Work bees

Wood pile

Are you old enough to remember community Work Bees? Or, did you come along after most of the homestead “work” got out-sourced to “professionals?" I’m old enough to remember Work Bees. And, I’m interested in reintroducing them. We're living in a period of the Great Forgetting and part of reclaiming resilience is becoming reskilled in many of the practices that were native to our grandparents’ … [Read more...]

A solar flair

sunshine

Nietzsche said that we were all Hyperboreans. I’d say that if our culture were any more alienated from Nature, he’d have been better advised to call us all extraterrestrials. We are, frankly, so removed from Nature that it’s hard to take seriously our claim to be a vital part of the planet. More worrisome is the fact that most people don’t even recognize the alienation. If asked, they tell you … [Read more...]

The time for action

Clothes pins

I don’t meet many people these days who still think that “things are fine” with the US economy — or that “recovery is right around the corner." The light-bulbs are coming on for people and they're beginning to realize that the current state of affairs is, as David Wann says, The New Normal. The Emperor really has no clothes. We’ve consumed our way past peak resources and the descent has … [Read more...]

Coffee and tea anyone?

Tea and Coffee sign

I'm pretty sure it was history in the making, local history anyway. And who knows? Maybe Mount Shasta, California’s example will encourage other towns around the country to take similar action. Last week, concurrent with the first snow of the season, a meeting took place between Shasta Commons, the area’s Transition Town movement, and the South Siskiyou Tea Party. While sleet and ice pounded … [Read more...]

The state of the union

Peace Flag

The state of the Union is on our minds. But, in all fairness, it has been for the past few years. It’s painfully too easy to wonder if we are turning into a hostile, bellicose society. The good old days of sitting on Grandpa’s porch and idly churning ice cream seem a long ways from schoolyard shootings, super-sized wars in the Middle East, teenage sex slavery and ponzi schemes of today. Not … [Read more...]

Solar panels face cloudy views

Solar Installation

After months of wrestling with the local County Building Department about permits and codes, excruciating financial gymnastics and down and dirty back-breaking spadework, we finally got our solar installation up. It’s a massive 3 kw (stc) photovoltaic pole mount. We feel like we created the best of two worlds, too, since we live way back in the woods while, at the same time, we're generating a … [Read more...]

Occupy peace on Earth, good will towards men

Caricature of Obama ripping Constitution

As Patricia Williams wrote in The Nation this week, “You know these are interesting times when Glenn Beck, Dianne Feinstein, Rand Paul and the ACLU all stand on the same side of an issue.” The issue is the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for 2012, in particular Sections 1031 and 1032, which authorize detaining U.S. citizens indefinitely without charge or trial. The bill would allow … [Read more...]

Six ideas for a low impact holiday

Recycled Gift Tags

For many of us, the first snow is on the ground, night skies are star-studded and a holiday spirit is in the air. Holidays, as much fun as they are, tend to bring out some of our most entrenched bad habits. The holidays shouldn't be a burden on the environment, but they are. Most Americans, for example, produce about 25 percent more trash during the holidays (from Thanksgiving to New Year’s) … [Read more...]