Friday, January 27, 2012

Forest Gardening

Gardening for lazy people... that's what I need.  The labor and planning is front-loaded: it takes more work to get started than just putting in a basic garden with a few annual veggies.  But the long-term payback is much higher, with much lower ongoing input.  The magic comes from mimicking a young forest to grow a variety of useful perennial plants and trees that are good for food or support the micro-environment of your developing forest garden.  And it can be done on a very small scale or on a much larger plot of land.

Lincoln Smith offers his next forest gardening course in April.  He is passionate and very knowledgeable.

FOREST GARDEN WEEKEND – Registration Open for Spring 2012 - Click to Sign Up
How to grow a forest garden, the best thing you can do with your land. Learn how to 
harmonize your environment and your goals into a garden-ecosystem that is bountiful and 
sustainable. Whether you have square feet or acres, understanding ecosystem science and 
forest garden philosophy will prepare you to grow the most satisfying and sustainable garden 

This forest gardening weekend includes forest garden tours, lectures, discussions, planting 
demonstrations, and take-home resources.
Topics:-        Understanding forest ecology
-        Forest garden design exercises
-        Uses of forest garden plants
-        Polycultures (plants together)
-        Forest garden care and harvest
Course Fee: $295. Lunches with forest garden ingredients are included.
Time: 2 days, 8:30am – 4:30pm

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cool Resilience-focused website

I'm delighted to see a new Resilient Community website (and perhaps a business serving communities?) by John Robb. Can't wait to see where he takes this.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Tragic Foreshadowing - Global Economy Capsizes

The images have gripped the minds of people around the world: a luxury cruise ship capsized, its captain in disgrace more for cowardice and dereliction of duty than for causing the accident itself.

It seems a potentially apt herald of what is coming for the United States economy and likely for much of Europe. But instead of cowardice, our political 'captains' and their cronies are perhaps more short-sighted and selfish than they are cowardly.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Transition Towns - what does it offer our region?

My friend Hans Peters sent me this. I'm glad that people are working on this. I've found that much of the benefit of this kind of gathering is in building a stronger sense of community and in discovering kindred spirits among neighbors and acquaintances.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Greek Computer Whiz: data-mining for tax evaders?

A very earnest Greek computer scientist offered a plan to catch tax evaders.  But, according to NPR, the local Greek revenue offices are so corrupt that they turn a blind eye, having no interest in his useful tool.

A heart warming effort worthy of a high school civics class... if you believe your state is going to survive and you believe that it has the capacity to use the extra revenue wisely.

I wouldn't put my money on the Greek state regaining it's capacity to meaningfully provide public services to the Greek people.  And given yesterday's Eurozone bond down-grades, Greece is not the only Western country whose rulers are likely to have trouble keeping their promises to their voters.  I wonder how long people's primary loyalties will remain with a formerly 'first world' state absent basic services?

I hope the Greek disease is not contagious, but I bet it is.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Culture of Resilience

How can we cultivate a local culture that promotes the kind of thinking, relationships, and other behaviors that are necessary to thrive in our present time?

What kind of culture will support us in finding ways to prosper and flourish regardless of national or global economic/political upheavals?

Maybe we already have much of this culture latent in our community.  Maybe it's just a matter of awakening our individual resourcefulness, creativity, our friendships and trust networks at a new level. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

DIY Insulin: Biohacking anyone?

Whether you suspect that the U.S. (and/or the global) economy is headed for a deflationary depression or a hyper-inflationary crash (I can't decide which I'd prefer...) where will diabetics get the insulin and diabetic paraphernalia they need to survive if the electronic payments/banking system seizes up for more than a couple weeks?

I don't think of myself as a 'prepper' but this diabetic stuff which affects my immediate extended family, has got me wondering.

Now I'm thinking of DIY biotech and what bio-hackers could do in garage or basement labs.  John Robb has a recent post featuring a Twitter exchange w/ a biohacker that draws an analogy between the growth of hardware hackerspaces and bio hackerspaces.  They suggest that the opportunity is in industrial biotech  due to lower or no regulation, rather than in medicine or food crops.  Maybe someone is developing DIY biotech for diabetic pets...