Plenty of trouble: Feeding a climate changed world after peak oil

feeding the world

Nothing is more precious than balance, stability, and sustainability. Today, we’re hanging by our fingernails to a skyrocket of intense insane change, and it’s the only way of life we’ve ever known.  Joel Bourne has spent his life riding the rocket.  He grew up on a farm, and studied agronomy at college. But sharp changes were causing many farmers to go bankrupt and taking over the family farm … [Read more...]

Climate, food, and art

Urban Farming and Climate

There's less than 36 hours until Transition Voice editor Lindsay Curren's Kickstarter project — 31 Days of Urban Agriculture — ends. In Kickstarter's all-or-nothing crowd funding model, that means if Lindsay makes her goal, her project is funded. And if she doesn't, she loses all the pledges (and no backers are charged for their pledges, either). At almsot 60% funded, we think with your help, … [Read more...]

Transition to a world made by hand

ACity bees2

Peak oil commentator of Archdruid fame John Michael Greer, who foresees an inevitable if gradual collapse for industrial society, advises the equally doomstruck to "collapse now and avoid the rush." It's good advice and I've taken it to heart. Transition girl About six years ago I moved to the small (but widely-hailed) city of Staunton, Virginia. Shortly afterwards, I helped start our … [Read more...]

Secrets of the trait


Picture this:  You’re an organic farmer in – well, pick a place. Your neighbor also farms, but not organically. As neighbors go, he’s a pretty good one; the two of you talk about the weather at the feed store, and he’s been interested in your agro-forestry sideline. By the same token, Monsanto’s visited your county multiple times, and your gut tells you he’s one of their hot prospects. … [Read more...]

The heart of my home


The kitchen is the heart of my home. It’s the hub of the domestic wheel. Since it’s where the woodstove is, this time of year, it’s where everyone gathers. And, everything of any importance takes place there: meals get prepared, recipes shared, bills paid, horse grains mixed, tinctures made, messages exchanged; kombucha brewed, coffee sipped and books read. Sometimes I take for granted that the … [Read more...]

Four things that were better in 1899

Gibson print

It's no accident that the 1960 film adaptation of The Time Machine opens with host HG Wells welcoming four friends to a dinner party in London on January 5, 1900 to recount events that had occurred since he last met them, on New Year's Eve, 1899. What year could be more symbolic of the end of an era, for good or ill, than 1899? Since Americans worship at the altar of progress, we hardly need … [Read more...]

100 days of real food

Lisa Leake's breakfast for her guests included whole-wheat crepes, "Ranier" cherries, blueberries, raspberries, and melon. Photo: 100 Days of Real Food

I can't help but be impressed and inspired by the family behind the 100 Days of Real Food blog. After considering the extent to which our country (and to a lesser but still appreciable extent the rest of the world) is dependent on highly processed food, Lisa and Jason Leake, along with their then 3 and 5-year old daughters, vowed to go 100 days without those processed foods, eating "real food" … [Read more...]

Soil, soul, and society

Farm store

On July 30, 2012, Hawthorne Valley Association marked the 40th anniversary of working the soil of agriculture on its land in the Hudson Valley of New York. In all that time it has been Hawthorne Valley’s mission to inspire by example social and cultural renewal through the integration of education, agriculture, and the arts. The significance of place and the ability to connect intimately to and … [Read more...]

Yes, you can brew kombucha

Kombucha brewing

I live a pretty spartan existence. Our family doesn't live high on the hog, always out shopping or dining at the most expensive places. We don't vacation much, and when we do, it's all about going local — Virginia inns, wineries, and natural and historic sites. Basically, I'm pretty frugal, do many things DIY style, and otherwise am so into conservation that I don't want to buy much … [Read more...]

A GMO is a GMO is a GMO

Image: David Dees Illustration.

Quick: name the one issue about which Democrats, Republicans and even Independents all agree.  No, not alpaca farms. Yes, I know everyone would like to have one, and yes, baby alpacas are cuter than the dickens.  Try again. What’s that? Everybody agrees  genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that food processing companies put on our kitchen tables should be labeled? Is that your answer? Well, … [Read more...]