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...]

Come to the SkillShare Faire! (265)

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Join the fun at the 2013 Whatcom SkillShare Faire! Make fire by friction. Thresh seeds with a 100-year-old pedal-powered machine. Learn to card, spin and weave. Make a rocket stove. In this extravaganza of sharing, residents teach and learn all kinds of useful, practical … [Read more...]

How Shall We Live, With the Earth in Crisis? (250)

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When we actually face what's happening on the planet, the picture isn't pretty. Author Carolyn Baker (Speaking Truth To Power) is concerned by rapidly-unfolding climate change, and the fragile Fukushima reactor situation. Systems thinker Dave Pollard (How To Save the World) … [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...]

A Pathfinder for the Future Primitive

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My curiosity was piqued when I read a review of Miles Olson's Unlearn, Rewild: Earth skills, ideas and inspiration for the future primitive in Richard Reese's Sustainable or Bust. For nearly a decade this young man lived with friends at the edge of civilization in the … [Read more...]

Seeking the Happy Story, part 2 – Reality Ain’t What You Believe (234)

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"If you really grasp the idea that this is not suddenly going to turn around, in six months or a year, you begin to look at your life very differently," says Dr. Kathy McMahon, clinical psychologist and self-named "Peak Shrink." Despite government silence, she declares, the … [Read more...]

Seeking the Happy Story, part 1 – But What Do You Feel? (233)

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We live in a culture that wants only the upbeat response, the story with the happy ending. We marginalize people who express anger or grief about the impossible predicament we're in — societal and ecological collapse. Clinical psychologist Kathy "Peak Shrink" McMahon, uses … [Read more...]

Wood Wenches Help Fuel the Local Economy

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We're contributing to the local economy by meeting an essential human need for warmth — selling firewood from deadfall at Lone Bobcat Woods. In the past month we've cut and split large and small dead down oak trees (yes, we're leaving plenty for habitat and food for the … [Read more...]

Titanic Lifeboat Academy — Navigating a Path to Resilience (216)

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Caren Black and Christopher Paddon couldn't find mentors to teach them self-reliant living when they became aware of peak oil. So they created a homestead and opened their doors to training others. People can take a personalized Lifeboat Course online or in person, where … [Read more...]