Soil Health

The Evolution of My Cards and My Mission

Ever since I completed my Permaculture Design Certificate, I’ve been searching for ways to engage the public on Permaculture garden design and various environmental topics. I did some consultations, started writing articles, and gave workshops on topics ranging from seed saving and sprouting to no-trash challenges for school kids. I’ve been studying herbalism, foraging,

Saving Seeds for a Self Sufficient Garden

It’s that time again, the time when the rains come, and the plants turn brown, their flowers going to seed. It’s time to collect and save seeds.   Seed saving may be the most neglected element of gardening. Every winter, most of us feast our eyes upon the pages of seed catalogs, drooling over the

Ethics and Principles – The Foundation of Permaculture

The practice of Permaculture is grounded in ethics and principles, and many new permaculture students get bogged down by them, impatient to move forward and learn the actual design system. “Why all this philosophy?” they ask. “I just want to learn to design amazing gardens and grow a lot of food.” It’s easy to

Fostering Biodiversity: Pollinator Sanctuary Garden Inventory

Every year I do a species inventory of my garden. I make note of which plants are growing where, and how well they tolerate the level of sun, the soil, and their neighboring plants. Sometimes I discover that plants fail to thrive in our clay soil; such is the case with our blueberry and

What is Permaculture?

If we look around us, we can see evidence of environmental degradation. We might see a stand of trees that has been chopped down. We might have friends or relatives who have lost their homes or towns to a wildfire. Perhaps we hear about the extinction of a species we know and love. Now

Wild and Weedy

For many years I waged war in my garden. I dug dandelions out of my lawn, using a tool called Grandpa’s Weeder, and I made huge piles of wilting Sheep’s Sorrel, which slowly dried up in a distant corner by the big pine tree. Every summer my back complained, and every spring the weeds returned

Strategies For Growing Food in a Changing World

It’s that time of year! The time when I take stock of my seed supplies and decide what to plant, when to plant, and where to plant. In past years, I’ve usually planted whatever I wanted, just for the joy of tasting new varieties and species, but these days I’m feeling external pressure to anticipate

Coming to Terms With the Dirt

The Dirt. A few weeks ago, after pondering all the chaos in the world, I decided to sow seeds for winter crops like beet greens, hardy lettuces, arugula, and cilantro. The rains hadn’t yet come, so I knew I was in for some hard work. I took my shovel and hori knife and turned

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