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Category Archives: Rural issues

Small solutions for light pollution

The new LED fixture, aimed in such a way as to limit its coverage to 180 degrees. Acorn Abbey is near the end of an unpaved private road. The abbey feels remote and isolated, but there are other homes on the road. Luckily the other places are closer to the nearest paved road than I […]

Ken’s new book

In a recent comment here, Jo asked whether Ken Ilgunas was involved in the upkeep of the abbey’s orchard. Yes he has been, actually, very much so. Though the first trees were planted before Ken first came to the abbey, he has slaved in the orchard for many hours — planting new trees and replacements […]

Local milk!

While in the Winston-Salem Whole Foods on Monday, I was pleased to see milk from a local dairy in the dairy case. It’s grass-fed milk, and the dairy is Wholesome Country Creamery in Hamptonville. Hamptonville is in the Yadkin Valley not far from where I grew up. Not since I was in San Francisco have […]

An environmental victory

This is another of my photo essays on grassroots environmental activism. For three and a half years, ever since a Tea Party takeover of the legislature has tried to fast-track fracking and off-shore oil drilling into North Carolina, a tenacious little organization called No Fracking in Stokes has fought to keep fracking out of Stokes […]

What blowback looks like

After the little town of Walnut Cove agreed to let the state of North Carolina (at taxpayer expense) drill a geological core sample on town property to test for the presence of frackable gas, what followed was an uprising. These photos are from a press conference called by the state and national NAACP to announce […]

Rural communities

Earlier this week, I was asked to attend and shoot photos of a community gathering in northern Stokes County. The people there are concerned about the possible closing of the elementary school there. To them, the school is an important part of their community. To the school board and the county commissioners, the school is […]

Vintage fire truck

While attending a community event recently in the little Stokes County community of Francisco, I sneaked into the fire station to get photos of their vintage Mack fire truck.

The people strike back

From time to time, when I think it is of general interest, I will post here about what I’m up to as a local political and environmental activist. When I bought land in rural Stokes County, North Carolina, and built the abbey here, I did expect to have some involvement in the county’s civic life. […]

Fracking video wins award

Last year, No Fracking in Stokes produced a video, aimed at our rural constituents, to help them see how fracking would threaten their rural lifestyles by turning rural areas into industrial zones. This week, that video won first place and audience favorite at the Sustainability Shorts Film Festival at the University of North Carolina at […]

A tour of Vade Mecum

Most of the readers of this blog are not from Stokes County, or even from North Carolina, so I need to explain what Vade Mecum is and why people in Stokes County are so concerned about it. A hundred years ago and longer, Stokes County was a tourist destination. People would come into Walnut Cove […]