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Category Archives: Sustainable living

The kraken vine

Last year, a friend sent me a gift from his garden. He called it a squash, I called it a little pumpkin. Save the seeds, he said. Plant in early summer, he said, feed it well, give it lots of room, and it will become a kraken plant. The vine will spread like kudzu, and […]

Wintertime table lighting

W.T. Kirkman No. 1 “Little Champ” oil lanterns For many years, I have been weird about how the table is lit for supper. Electric light is not allowed. It’s not just an affectation for when there is company. It’s an everyday thing, even when I’m having supper alone. During the summer months, supper is over […]

The new girls come on line

The easiest time of year to acquire chickens — at least in these parts — comes in the weeks before Easter. That’s when the local mills and Tractor Supply have chicks for sale. Spring chickens can be counted on to start laying in August. The new girls are right on time — maybe even a […]

“It’s up to us, the people”

This is a brief new video with Ken from Signature Views / Signature Reads.

Amazon buys Whole Foods??

This morning we learned that Amazon has bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in cash. What’s up? Information on Amazon’s plans for Whole Foods is in short supply at present, except that it’s known that Amazon wants to get into the grocery business, that Amazon was interested in a brick-and-mortar presence, and that Whole Foods […]

What the critters so generously leave behind

Supper If I had ever really understood how much effort (and defeat) is involved in defending a garden, an orchard, and some chickens against all the hungry mouths that want to eat everything, I might never have had the heart to start. The hungry mouths come from everywhere — out of the woods, down from […]

The perils of peaches

It’s year eight in the orchard, and this year I just might get my first bite of peach. Last year, the entire peach crop was wiped out by a late frost. This year, the three peach trees are loaded. One of the trees is weeks ahead of the other two trees and has dozens of […]

The importance of hugging trees

The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate, by Peter Wohlleben. Greystone Books, 2016, 272 pages. This book got a lot of attention when it was published in German, in 2015, as Das geheime Leben der Bäume. Luckily we had to wait only a year for an English translation. Though I believe […]

Eight years down, a hundred years to go

They grow up so fast

The spring chickens have two basic emotional states — semi-boredom (when they’re in the chicken house), and deliriously happy (when they’re outdoors). Here they’re taking a communal dirt bath in the garden.