Conceiving of ourselves as wasteful and exploitative, a pox on the planet, really, depends on daily systems that reinforce this story through linear waste-streams. Extract, manufacture, ship, sell, consume, throw away. Yet the compost toilet captures human ‘waste’ nutrients in the ‘waste’ product of sawdust and transforms it through nitrogen-powered heat and microbial alchemy into rich soil to nurture a thriving, water-holding garden. We are always making organic matter. Whatever else I did today, I made more life. So it is with biochar.
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.
We’ve made a new film. It’s a little bit different, this one is in support of an article written by our Lael, in the upcoming issue of Permaculture Magazine. She’s not yet twenty, homeschooled all her life, and she’s full of ideas. I’m not quite sure what we were expecting, all those years ago when […]
Panic-buying on the one hand and rationing on the other only multiply a crisis. Yet there’s a practical solution that meets a primal need in one classic, simple pattern. Yes. The pantry. The ills of a pandemic are exacerbated by overbuying and by repeatedly returning for trickles of supplies, causing multiple exposures. Like takeout deliveries […]
Picture, if you will, the things we hold dear in this world, only on a slightly different trajectory. Picture them well-supported by a principle of following natural patterns, of meeting needs the way nature does. Take, for example, keeping chickens. We like to keep a flock in our garden. Now, they require shelter, safe from […]
As carbon sequestration goes, charcoal-making has extraordinary potential. Last year we had the good fortune to spend a day learning to make charcoal with a local historian and tried out the basics of this ancient practice. From Terra-preta in the Amazonian rainforests, stone kilns in Japan (and all over these islands, which our friend has […]