Month: June 2018

Homeopathy for Plants

One of the most frustrating experiences you can have in the garden is to see a plant—or worse, and entire bed! —struggling with disease or pests. Conscientious farmers want to bring health to their gardens, but the chemical remedies provided on the shelves of…

30 Generations of Farming

Nora Waln was an unusual and adventurous woman. A Philadelphia Quaker and best-selling writer and journalist in the 1930s–60s, she was the first to report on the spread of Nazism in the lead up to WWII, and wrote on Mongolia, communism in China, and…

Grow Hope

In this beautiful film produced by the talented Amy Melious, I have the honor of introducing four remarkable individuals making a difference in the world through their involvement in the Biointensive farming movement. Meet Mary Zellachild from California, Samuel and Perris Nderitu from Kenya,…

How sustainable is your GROW BIOINTENSIVE garden?

GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Sustainable Mini-Farming is a remarkable method for increasing yields, decreasing resource use, and building soil fertility at very low cost. When used properly, it has the potential to change our world for the better. However, when putting this method into practice, it…

Me, on June 21 in Fort Bragg, CA

I’ll be giving a talk, “Food for the Future: NOW” in Fort Bragg, California on Thursday, June 21st! For FREE!! I’ll be discussing how sustainable, localized, small-scale agriculture can be productive, profitable, and can help solve some of our most serious environmental and social challenges – and how we can each participate in that solution. Location: 6:30-8:30 PM 490 North Harold Street. Come one, come all! 

Barley – A Versatile Crop

Beardless Shrene Barley

Barley (Hordeum vulgare) is a dynamic late autumn, winter and early spring grain crop that is somewhat higher in calories that other short-day crops. Added to soups, it tastes great, and thickens the broth beautifully. It can also be used as a fodder crop…

Ancient Agriculture

Ancient Agriculture - Roots and Application of Sustainable Farming

Climate change has made the “treasure trove of the past a seedbed for a whole new generation of farmers and gardeners striving for agricultural sustainability.” With an emphasis on working the land in harmony with nature and producing more food through soil improvement and water management, this book is a gem and worth a read!

Sweet Potatoes!

Sweet Potatoes (Ipomoea batatas) are starchy root vegetables originating from Central or South America. Not to be confused with starchier and drier yams (Dioscorea) from Africa and Asia, sweet potatoes have a long shelf life and are usually sweeter and moister than regular white potatoes (Solanum tuberosum). In addition to being delicious, they are a very important crop in diet planning, because of the number of calories they contain per pound, and for overall sustainable gardening and farming!

Hedgerows:

“Hedgerows” is an old English term that refers to narrow planting strips of trees or shrubs that grow along field borders, fence lines and waterways. These borders serve as effective windbreaks and improve conditions for the nearby crops, forming an “edge habitat” that supports ecological diversity.

Brickhouse Coffee

Sometimes you find a place you just have to share with everyone, and this is my current delight: Whenever you are in Willits, CA for a great, fresh really good meal, stop at Brickhouse Coffee on the corner of Main and Commercial Streets! The atmosphere makes…

Some Thoughts on Arbor Day

Aren’t trees magnificent? They make oxygen, shade, food, building materials, fuel, habitat, and soil. They’re beautiful. They last for years – some for generations! They consume greenhouse gases and help keep our planet cool enough for us to live here. They draw nutrients from deep underground and deposit them on the surface when they drop their leaves. When they die, they form nurseries for new trees. They are a precious natural resource. Earth is currently home to ~3 trillion trees. Which seems like a lot…right? But the truth is, we could do with more. A lot more.

Eastern Leatherwood

I wrote this post earlier this year, the week before Arbor day. In honor of the forest-friendly holiday, I thought I’d talk about one of my favorite trees (or, more accurately, a shrub): Eastern Leatherwood (Dirca palustris L. Thymelaeaceae), which is native to eastern…