Permaculture Fruit: My Espaliered Pear Harvest

Though the rain put a damper on my garden plans this season, it was a good year for pears.  I harvested over a bushel of pears from two of my pear trees.  One is a Bartlett espaliered against my garden shed, and the other is a standard Moonglow.  Both are only several years old and this is the first significant harvest I’ve gotten.  It’s great to be reaping the fruits of my labor!

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Turning waste into food: Oyster mushrooms on old shitake logs

In this video I take some old shitake logs, along with some white oak beam cutoffs, and inoculate them with oyster mushroom spawn.  I’d read about reusing old shitake logs to grow mushrooms in succession in a Paul Stamets book.  I’m going to give them a jump by putting them in the microclimate of my hoop house. Grow your food locally for a more sustainable economy.

Sustainable Landscaping: Scythe vs String Trimmer

Most people these days maintain their yard with a lawnmower and a string trimmer (or weed whacker, as we like to call it), but before the days of fossil fuel, the scythe was the preferred mowing tool. Virtually silent in comparison to its carbon emitting counterparts, the scythe is simply manufactured, durable, and long lived. Best of all, it requires no fossil fuel, only muscle power. And for that reason it’s also provides good exercise.

At Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, where we are building a post fossil fuel culture and community, the scythe is the tool of choice for yard and farm maintenance. The renewable energy powered electric string trimmer also has a place in maintaining a space.

Homemade Tamales from all Local Ingredients

Many people in the rich world have little connection to the food they eat.  They find what they need at the local grocery store.  Ingredients have been shipped across the country or the world, possibly more than once, before being assembled into a highly processed form that has questionable health benefits.  More likely, the food the large brands are feeding them is detrimental to their health. Continue reading

Catching Household Water from the Sky

This video will show you the systems I’ve set up to collect rainwater and use it in my house. With water scarcity being such a big issue in many parts of the country and around the world thanks to climate change, overpopulation, and overconsumption, more than ever American households need to set up more sustainable systems for water use.   Continue reading

My Passive Solar Tiny House

This video is an introduction to the passive solar design features of my strawbale tiny house. This 450 sq ft house uses south facing windows to heat itself during winter, supplementing heat provided by a wood stove. Roman-style thermal curtains on all windows help to conserve heat. A cantilevered second floor and overhangs keep the sun out during warmer times of the year.  Continue reading