One of the largest subdivisions in the state of New Mexico, Eldorado, just went through an electoral fight by which it was determined that residents CAN own chickens!!! Here's my current "Permaculture in Practice" column about the issue.
Friends, clients, permaculturalists!
Please note that the Permaculture Credit Union has moved! It's still in Santa Fe and its still going strong, and you can still become a member online (You don't even have to live in New Mexico) at http://www.pcuonline.com. You can also read all about it in my October 2012 column in the Santa Fe New Mexican's real estate magazine. See below.
After chowing a few-too-many organic sandwich-cookies found on a plate on a table in the media room, I strolled over to the “Leading-Edge Climate Initiative” panel featuring David Orr and four other power-grid whizzes. The biggest threats we face are not technical. It seems they center around our lack of cultural and political will. Meanwhile, the Clinton-era media consolidation, the costs associated with Bush’s Wars, and the Robert’s pro-corporate court all make a difficult situation worse.
I must have been about seven years old when my Gramma Adams got together with some friends and they stopped the construction of an interstate highway that would have run across the west side of Connecticut, through Massachusetts, and all the way up to Burlington, Vermont and beyond. The death of the Super 7 project was a great political victory, and I think I’ve been an avid and positively focused environmentalist ever since.
My younger son goes to a cool school called Little Earth. Tonight they had me as the first speaker in their series of practical talks for parents and educators. I called my presentation “Garden Design with Children in Mind,” and I focused on five garden components that students of all ages love.
1) The Bean Tipi, an edible playhouse made out of scarlet runner beans and five-to-ten long sticks, posts, or poles.
2) The Sunflower House, a playhouse (or tunnel) made out of mostly giant sunflowers, that teaches kids of all ages about microclimates and makes for a nice afternoon snack in the fall.
3) Edible Plants, these are very important in a children’s garden for a wide variety of reasons.
4) Sheet Mulch, an easy way to build soil, suppress weeds, and harvest rain in the soil, it uses cardboard, manure, and straw as its main ingredients,
5) Worm making, no kids garden is complete without a compost pile, and no compost pile is complete without worms.
I plan to elaborate on each of these in the coming weeks, so please stay tuned.
The great news is that I finally got the shopping cart to work at www.harvesttherain.com, so you can now buy my book on our totally secure website! I’ll even sign it, inscribe it, date it, bless it, and send it off with a light misting of rainwater if you want me to. (HINT: For the latter, all you have to do is type “Please mist me.” in the little inscription box, and I’ll know the code.)
Just had a wonderful surprise visit from my friends Greg and Patty, the owners of Camino de Paz School and Farm. They had to drop something off on their way to dinner, but next thing we knew we were all making dinner right out of the garden. Ironically, I start at their booth every Saturday at the farmers’ market. As a member of the Montessori-based school’s board, it’s the least I can do. Feeding these farmer friends from my own garden was a total treat—I need a happier version of the word “surreal” to describe it…(Anyone?)
At the outset of the Industrial Revolution, the protagonist of Voltaire’s Candide travels extensively in an attempt to discover “the best of all possible worlds.” In the end, Candide realizes that he and his party would have been better off if they’d never gone on tour in the first place. “What’s necessary,” the tired traveler declares in the last sentence of the novella, “is that we cultivate our garden.” Thanks to the slow-food movement made popular by Alice Waters, Michael Pollan, Barbara Kingslover, and many others, 250 years later people are finally starting to get this message. From backyard gardens to downtown farmers’ markets, people are realizing the rewards of becoming truly productive human beings.
I moved down to Santa Fe from Boulder, Colorado back in 1987 with a 20-year-old, one-speed Schwinn bungeed to the roof of my car. It was the best bike in the world: springy seat, beefy fenders, wide handle bars with hard, groovy grips. Best of all it was an adult bike with foot brakes. When I bought it at a garage sale for $20 bucks, it was striped like a green, yellow, and black zebra, but it also came with two half-jars of paint (green and yellow). The implication was that the new owner should make the bike his or her own. Before officially purchasing the masterpiece, I asked the owner if he still had any of the black, and the guy laughed and said, “Sorry. It’s long gone.” He could see that I was already sold on the beauty, which I ended up spray painting gold and blue and then used the remaining green and yellow in a thick-and-juicy Jackson Pollack style.