Category: General

How a Japanese Table Can Lower Your Heating Bills

Most times when I start looking for new ways to cut down on my utility bills I make the mistake of taking an all or nothing approach. I look for things like solar and wind power as opposed to buying electricity from a utility company, cooking with a solar oven instead of gas, or canning and smoking meat as opposed to storing it in the refrigerator. But, it doesn’t always […]

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Abundant Land: The Rich Legacy Of Traditional Hawaiian Land Management

The fragile beauty of Molokai, Hawaii’s “Friendly Isle,” nestled between Oahu and Maui, belies an environmental stewardship its native Hawaiian residents have fought hard to preserve. More than a century of outsider development by sugar cane and pineapple industries, cattle ranchers, and agrochemical companies developing and expanding genetically engineered seed crops has caused ecological damage and contamination to the island. Abundant Land, Soil, Seeds and Sovereignty, a documentary by Bay […]

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Dangers and Promises of Genetically Modified Organisms

One of the most controversial aspects of our industrial farming and industrial food system are genetically modified organisms. During the past decades, these crops have gone from the test tubes of laboratories into the fields of mega farmers and finally to our dinner plates. If you have shopped at a grocery store, chances are that you have consumed genetically modified organisms since corn and soy, two of the most common […]

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6 Everyday Gadgets with Manual Powered Alternatives

Normally when I write up one of these articles I pick one gadget or appliance that normally runs on traditional electricity or fossil fuels and describe the benefits of an alternative energy version of the same thing. But there are so many everyday gadgets that we use that have energy free alternatives that may not warrant a full-page write-up but are still important to know about. We are so accustomed […]

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Brilliant Broccoli

Broccoli, officially known as Brassica oleracea, variety italica, is a well-known member of the mustard family (Brassicaceae, formerly Cruciferae) that also includes its cousins such as, cabbages, kale, romanesco, and broccoli rabe. Broccoli, a native of the Mediterranean and Asia Minor area, was grown by the Romans in ancient times, but didn’t show up until the early part of the 18th century in England. Mention of broccoli in the Americas […]

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Health Benefits of the Miracle Tree or Moringa Tree

It seems like every year or two a new “superfood” hits the shelves of health food stores around the country. Whether it be some Chinese ancient herbal remedy or some pseudo-grain grown by an indigenous culture in some part of the world, superfoods have been growing in popularity with the health-conscious population around the world. The moringa tree, like other superfoods, offers enormous amounts of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that […]

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Sustainable Uses of Food Waste

Food waste is considered by many people as non-useful materials. It is harmful to the environment. Greenhouse gases are released as by-products of food waste and these warm the environment, causing imaginable negative environmental impacts such as sea level rise and floods. Wasted food items are also harmful to humans. It can cause illnesses such as meningitis and foot disease if human beings come in contact with it. In general, […]

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Permaculture: a Holistic Approach to Life

When we tell people we practise permaculture, we usually get some questions. The interesting thing is the type of questions we are asked. Usually, the person asking us has a plant or tree that has some sort of disease and we are asked what they can do about it. It is interesting how we are all so indoctrinated into thinking that someone who works with nature, plants, and animals should […]

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Permaculture and the Importance of Landscape Design

As more and more people learn about the problems that industrial agriculture (and industrial civilization in general) have caused the world, there is a growing interest in all things organic. From larger organic sections at your grocery store to the explosion of the local food movement with farmer’s markets and community supported agriculture programs, organic livelihoods are on the rise. When it comes to actually growing your own food in […]

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Health Benefits of Natural Earthen Construction

Somehow or another, the modern day, industrial world in which we live convinced us that dirt is unclean, impure, and well…. dirty. We worry when we see our children headed for a mud puddle, we agonize when a mud footprint makes its way onto our kitchen floor, and we´ll gladly walk an extra couple strides on the sidewalk to avoid even a step or two through the dirt. The idea […]

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Cool Kohlrabi

The name kohlrabi is a German term meaning cabbage turnip (Kohl = cabbage and Rabi = turnip). Aptly named, kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea variety gongylodes) is indeed related to the cabbage and the turnip, as they are all members of the Brassicaceae or Cruciferae Family (mustard family) along with others like kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and romanesco. All those members of the Brassicaceae family descend from the wild cabbage. Time Gone […]

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Creating Community Through the Act of Gardening

“Through one simple, little act, we can cultivate a world that is more diverse, unified, and collaborative, and less divided and lonely – ultimately, a world more joyous and sustainable than this one through one simple act: gardening,” begins a riveting TEDTalk by Jasun “Plaedo” Wellman, a community organizer, educator, gardener, and artist. Gardening, he said, offers a practical remedy to many of society’s increasingly common ills – disconnection, depression, […]

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