Grow Your Food in a Nook and Cranny Garden, part 2 (290)

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"We're here to help form things. We have a food forest mimicking what the natural forest does." Ann and Gord Baird's edible gardens make use of less-than-ideal growing spaces on their rocky knoll. Nook and cranny gardens optimize micro-climates — water catchment for … [Read more...]

Grow Your Food in a Nook and Cranny Garden, part 1 (289)

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"Chickens are naturally forest birds." A tour of Gord and Ann Baird's edible landscape starts at the off-grid chicken house and yard, containing fruit trees that provide a protective canopy against flying predators. Roof rainwater becomes drinking water for the chickens, … [Read more...]

Peak Moment TV in a Doctoral Thesis

We feel very honored to be referenced with the following personages in Marie Little's doctoral thesis on Climate Change Adaptation through the School of Public Health, Curtin University, Western Australia. Her proposal includes radical mitigation and reduction in … [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...]

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...]

Natural Buildings for Urban Living – The Tour, part 2 (247)

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The Craftsman-style bungalow looks normal on the outside, but the surprise is on the inside: straw bales inside the framing provide super insulation. Natural builder Lydia Doleman designed this 800-square-foot small-footprint house to last centuries, with its metal roof and … [Read more...]

Natural Buildings for Urban Living, part 1 (246)

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Wanting to demonstrate that "cities can be less impactful on the planet," natural builder Lydia Doleman bought and remodeled a Portland house to demonstrate her values. Composting toilets reduce water usage while feeding the soil. Growing food shortens dependencies. Building … [Read more...]