The Animals are Allies at Inspiration Farm (294)


"My worms are my hardest working critters…along with all my other critters." Brian Kerkvliet shows the mobile chicken house area where chickens scratch, eat bugs and plant seeds, spread the compost pile, and fertilize the soil. As they clear one region, they're moved to … [Read more...]

Farmer George — Growing Animals Like Grandpa Did, part 1 (286)


"Our animals live in the pasture - birds, pigs and cows. Everybody gets to roam free in fresh air and sunlight…not only are they getting the food at its best, but they're also leaving behind the waste products that rejuvenate that grass and keep the system going." Farmer … [Read more...]

Join the “Eat-All Greens” Garden Revolution (282)


"I spent five minutes spreading the compost on the driveway, two minutes sprinkling the seed, and maybe five minutes to harvest the whole patch. And I had maybe twenty pounds of nutritious leafy greens." From this spur-of-the-moment idea, plant breeder Carol Deppe spent … [Read more...]

A Resilient Gardener Breeds Plants for These Times


Freelance plant breeder Carol Deppe sifted handfuls of golden, ruby and coppery corn from the huge pile. "Remember the Scrooge McDuck comics, where he goes into the vault and runs his hands through all the metal coins, gloating about how wealthy he is?" she asked. "I … [Read more...]

The Squash is In!


We popped out into the Corvallis countryside to photograph Oregon plant breeder Carol Deppe and friends as they harvested the last of the season's squash. These butternuts were laid on tarps in the shade alongside the already-harvested big "Sweet Meat - Oregon Homestead" and … [Read more...]

Handmade Tools Make Simple Work at Inspiration Farm (269)


Watch Brian Kerkvliet cut thick grasses easily and quickly with his hand-built scythe — a far cry from a noisy weed whacker! He demonstrates three tools whose design he has honed over the years: the scythe, grass rake and U- bar or broadfork. "It took a few years to get the … [Read more...]

Shaping Water and Soil at Inspiration Farm (267)


"If you grow good soil, everything else falls into place. You grow good plants, you grow good animals, you grow good people." Permaculturist Brian Kerkvliet shows how he gently shapes soil to form ponds which overflow into connected swales (ditches on contour). They slow … [Read more...]

A New Season at Inspiration Farm


We stopped for a quick springtime tour with Brian Kerkvliet and Alexandra King at Inspiration Farm in Bellingham, Washington. After staying there for a month last fall, I wanted to see the other side of the yearly cycle.  Brian Kerkvliet gave the grand tour to us and … [Read more...]

Visiting EcoReality Co-op on Salt Spring Island, BC


We were welcomed at EcoReality Co-op by Jan Steinman and Cleome Rowe (top right) and the goats. EcoReality Co-op is an ecovillage at the southern tip of Salt Spring Island working to be a model of cooperative, sustainable land habitation and land use. Jan's "Veggie Van … [Read more...]

A Locavores’ Potluck (257)


We attended a delicious potluck dinner from foods produced around Victoria, Vancouver Island, B.C. Too bad you can't taste this video — it was a locavore's delight! Small-scale food producers brought fresh-caught salmon, pastured pork and lamb, eggs, winter squashes, … [Read more...]