A Resilient Gardener Breeds Plants for These Times

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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!

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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)

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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)

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"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

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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

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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)

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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...]

InishOge Farm – Storing Warmth and Real Wealth

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Staying warm is one of those essentials for human life — like food, water, clean air. In the northern latitudes, staying warm requires good shelter. To rely only minimally or not at all on outside utilities (e.g., for electric heat) requires smartly-designed good … [Read more...]

The Bean and Grain Project – Outperforming Chemical Agriculture (248)

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The Southern Williamette Bean and Grain Project is exploring bean, grain, and edible seed varieties which can be added to those already grown in Oregon's Willamette Valley. Oregon Tilth co-founder and farmer Harry MacCormack shares wisdom and stories about farms … [Read more...]

Growing Veterans – From Battlefields to Organic Farm Fields

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I've wanted to do a show with veterans-turned-farmers ever since I read Trading their Swords for Plows in the New York Times two years ago. I got my chance in the innovative community near Bellingham, Washington. While we were videoing at the Whatcom SkillShare Faire, a … [Read more...]