Grape vines can be pretty expensive to buy, and when you get into the large volumes that you need for a vineyard, it can get downright expensive. I lower my vineyard costs by starting my own cuttings. For years I made cuttings as a hobby by taking dormant wood in the fall and rooting it in spring. The problem is it takes a pretty long time from cutting to rooted vine (over a year).
With this method you can get new vines rooted in the same season, in fact in just a couple of weeks, and you don’t need fancy misting equipment. One variety in particular, Norton (Cynthiana), is notorious for being difficult to start from dormant cuttings. Norton is a variety that does really well in our heavy clay soil, and it works really well with organic methods because, even under high disease pressure, it has beautiful clusters every season with no pesticides, chemical or organic. In this video I take cuttings of Norton and show how easy it is.
Continuing my tour of ECHO Farm, this time I talk about the demonstrations of their sustainable systems. So many incredible things to see at ECHO. Rocket stoves, water filters, aquaponic systems, biodigesters, water heating, oil pressing, and many other appropriate technologies mostly made from reused and reclaimed materials. You can also find open source directions and how to info about making all of these sustainable systems at their website echocommunity.org.
My aunt and uncle take me out sailing on a sailboat my uncle built himself. This is wind power technology that humans have been using for thousands of years. I love the feeling of speeding along knowing we are moving without the use of anything but natural power. Maybe next time I can get them to do the entire trip without the motor. I know they have the skills. I’ve only gone sailing sporadically in my life and most of those times were with my aunt and uncle.
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Over twenty years ago a monster took over Lake Erie and has been wreaking havok on its ecosystems ever since. In this video we take a walk along Lake Erie, , see the signs of the Lake Erie monster, and also find some ruins of an electric trolley system that was scrapped way back in 1937. Then we visit my old stomping grounds and the patch of land that inspired my interest in grapes.
Before I went to Florida for the winter I spent some time with family in the burbs I grew up in. I have a lot of nostalgia for times I never lived in, and though I know that life wasn’t easy back then, it was by far more sustainable. In this video series I look for the signs of what used to be before everything became covered with parking lots, housing developments, and shopping malls. There’s nothing sustainable about these places and in fact they are perfect examples of exactly what’s wrong with our economy, and why it is doomed to failure.
There are a few different philosophies for changing the world, and most of them have been tried before. Which methods work depends on many different societal factors, but it’s clear that some methods just don’t work. History can tell us a lot about what we need to know, but our schools teach us a very limited history. Lost to the most recent generation is the history of the movements of the 60s and 70s and the lessons we could have learned from them.