The tomato incident

Tomato Harvest

I was in my greenhouse the other day, watering some enormous tomato plants. These plants are massive — well over my head and still going strong. They're planted in a raised bed, with about thirty of them shoulder-to-shoulder in close quarters. It’s literally a tomato jungle. They're lush, full, heavy with tomatoes and the pride of any gardener. Enter my friend, who upon seeing this eye-candy, … [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...]

Finding paradise

Karen Sliwa

Don Henley's empathetic voice in the Eagles song Last Resort warns that if "you call someplace paradise, kiss it goodbye." So I'm very careful when choosing words to describe my current location here in Italy. Sure, it's breathtaking, and the people here love the land. But that's certainly not new. The people I've met have been kind, gracious, and very generous. They love the land. They're … [Read more...]

Raising a garden bed: build or buy?

TSA garden

As part of our local Transition group's efforts to make local food more widely available in our town, my wife Lindsay has been helping organize a new community garden. The site is a lot that has been vacant as long as anyone can remember. You can imagine that there was a lot to do before planting: finding the property owner and convincing him to host the garden on his lot; clearing years of … [Read more...]

Today, I’m running for city council

vote for your future poster

I'm a guy who's into the global Transition movement, who worries about peak oil and even thinks that Occupy Wall Street makes some good points. That's why I'm running for public office (see my campaign website). And today is election day. But don't expect to see anything about my race on MSNBC or even in one of those emails asking you to give five bucks to some candidate in another state who … [Read more...]

Seeing Berry’s Wilderness again


In the early '90s I made the conscious decision to drop out of college. I distinctly remember the day I withdrew from classes and made the call to my parents. I remember thinking: "Now I'm a statistic." College dropout. I watched as the debt grew and my confidence in finding a suitable career faded. I made the decision to drop out based on the reality that I could avoid debt and simply work. I … [Read more...]

#18: Telling the Transition story


We're huge fans of the Transition movement. We love it so much, we even put the word in our name. And while many folks within and outside of the Transition movement proper are talking about a transition to the post-fossil fuels economy/society/culture, it's an idea that still needs more traction in the wider world if we're to avoid the worst fallout of the converging crises of peak oil, global … [Read more...]

Occupy parenting

Mother and child

I can identify with what's said about dying soldiers—that in their last moments they call out for their mothers, seeking, perhaps instinctively, that all encompassing comfort that mothers can give. My mom died quite unexpectedly ten years ago. Late on a Halloween, she simply went to sleep and never woke up again. And though we were very different, and the relationship was more superficial than … [Read more...]

A different kind of supply-side economics

Japan Toyota Dealership

In the wake of the devastating Japanese earthquake and tsunami, an instructive story is unfolding about the manifold vulnerabilities of the modern industrial world. Robin Young of the radio show "Here and Now" reported yesterday on the too-often overlooked phenomenon of industrial supply lines. Her guest, Jeffrey Karrenbauer, a supply-chain expert with Insight Inc., said that supply line … [Read more...]