watch the growing series of appleturnover films made by elisa rathje + family right here.

biochar kiln

it is a great pleasure to bring you biochar kiln, my new film about the practical steps to making biochar in a kiln from our island’s community kiln-share with historian and charcoal expert brian smallshaw and why, at this moment in time, it really matters. want to learn what biochar is and how to make it, and encourage … Read More

running ducks

even without the tremendous resilience that ducks bring to our backyard ecosystems, a flock of ducks is just plain happiness in your garden. learn to raise, feed and care for healthy, resilient runner ducks. find out what ducks need and see the whole process from brooding day-old ducklings to free-ranging an egg-laying flock, with all the … Read More

deep litter

Deep litter is a traditional method we use for keeping chickens, ducks and geese in a healthy, living system. See their homes on the little farm, find out how we practice this method and hear why we think it functions so well to create a regenerative, living cycle that yields fresh eggs, nitrogen rich compost … Read More

broody hen

Much like a mother hen setting, hatching and raising her chicks, making our new film, ‘broody hen’ has been a labour of love. — Even without the ecosystem services of adding fertility to the gardens, reducing pests, cleaning the orchard, turning piles of mulch, transforming overproductions and waste-streams of food into eggs, into compost, and … Read More


George, Lucy and Emma watched at the window of the study to be sure that we were doing things properly. Characters. Did you know that they can live 30, even 40 years? I’m picturing myself at 80 with them.  Just yesterday afternoon they fiddled with my shirt until they woke me as I napped in … Read More


i give you the fourth in the journal of small work* film series, adaptation and relocalisation, as illustrated by the coldframe. the coldframe, that icon of the victorian kitchen garden, is a fine tool not only for adapting to the future we want to see, but embodying the simple actions of the relocalising movement as … Read More

pick & prune

Our little film, ‘pick & prune’ follows a practice of tending the trees that yields much more than fruit. We made this little picture in the old orchard, the food forest, in late winter and late summer, when we are very much preoccupied with the trees. It follows how we work with natural patterns within … Read More


Learn how a grapevine arbour follows natural patterns to create a resilient, sustainable design for both home and garden. See how the simple form of a grape arbour gives multiple yields, cooling our farmhouse naturally, feeding family and farm animals, allowing us to live in greater harmony with ecological systems in a changing climate. Working … Read More

bicycle life

What if we chose the electric bicycle as our primary way of getting around? Instantly lowering our costs of living, lowering our carbon, increasing our health, supporting the autonomy of young and old, reviving a vibrant local economy, on streets designed for everyone? Swapping our car for the electric bicycle took some courage, but with … Read More

grain mill

Milling grain by hand in the farmhouse kitchen makes us a more resilient, autonomous household. Human-powered, pedal-powered machines help us adapt to a changing world.  With whole grains in the pantry, we know we can make what we need. There’s both convenience and serenity in being just a bit more self-reliant. Milling like this can … Read More

pulley airer

the quintessential pulley airer is the starlet of the third episode in the journal of small work* and like its siblings, serves to illustrate a pairing of concepts that could serve us well in facing the challenges of living in this moment. what i love most fiercely about the principles of appropriate technology and its … Read More

oil + wax

the second journal of small work* builds on the ideas of the first. if continuous improvement, those incremental changes that help us keep our balance while consistently taking daily action, combined with the stacking of multiple functions that make tremendously creative use of what we’re already doing, is all about compounding efficiency, then the next … Read More

wood stove

How can we live well within the limits of our living systems? The journal of small work* is a response to overwhelming urgency. In the face of the daunting prospect of transforming how we live, let’s start where we are, with what we’ve got, and build from there.

an introduction

by way of an introduction, we’ve made a little film to tell you about this series chronicling slow, small steps towards living regeneratively. It isn’t just living with greater resilience in this ecologically, economically uncertain era that we’re concerned with, but redesigning what work looks like, what earning a living looks like. To step back … Read More