The Rainforest Information Centre

For more than a year the Rainforest Information Centre (RIC) has been struggling to prevent mining at our beloved Los Cedros Biological Reserve: In June of 2016 we found out that a mining concession had been surreptitiously handed to a Canadian mining company, although this was not announced by the Ecuadorean government until August of this year. Realizing this was part of a much larger problem, RIC started collaborating with […]

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Assessing a Property Before Designing It

For the purpose of this article and the scope of which I’m looking to explore, we are going to begin by assuming a hypothetical property is already bought and paid for. In short, we won’t be going into all of the legal assessment ideas that might be involved when buying a property, though many of these thoughts could help in choosing one to buy. Instead, we’ll be looking at assessing […]

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Permaculture and Community part 1: Permaculture as a Tool for Peace

For many, permaculture offers not only practical guidelines but also a particular lens through which to view the world. With the permaculture ethics and principles in mind, it is perhaps easier to maintain a holistic view of the world and yourself within it. This means, in my experience and opinion, that you can be more open-minded about what comes into and goes out of your experience, and by seeing the […]

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What Animals and a Barn Offer to Permaculture Design

The Importance of Animals in Permaculture Landscapes Our agrarian past reminds us that farming without animals is like trying to drive a car without gasoline. While crop rotations, cover crops and periodically maintaining the land fallow were some strategies our grandparents used for keeping the farm productive, the dairy cow, the flock of chickens, and the few hogs were the guarantee of the continued fertility of the fields. When done […]

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Pesticides Pollution

Pesticides are chemicals that are used to kill or control pests. This includes herbicides that are used for getting rid of weeds, insecticides used to treat fungicides, nematocides used to control nematodes as well as rodenticides used to treat vertebrate poisoning. Why pesticides can be harmful Pesticides contain ingredients such as oxygen, chlorine, sulfur, phosphorus, nitrogen, and bromine as well as heavy metals such as arsenic, copper sulfates, lead, and […]

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The Importance of Pasture: How to take Advantage of What Animals Bring to the Farm

While barns are important on any farm, keeping animals on pasture is almost always the better option. Pasture raised animals are usually much healthier and the meat and other animal based food products they offer come with much more nutrients when those animals are raised in a natural setting. From a humanist and ethical standpoint, animals that are allowed to live outside for the majority of their lives are much […]

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12 Autumn Activities for the Temperate Homestead

For those who have followed my articles over the years, you might be aware of two things: A recent relocation and the fact that, in fact, I do not yet have a homestead of my own. My wife Emma and I spent quite nearly over two years in search of a piece of land in Central America, and in the end, we watched a couple of deals fall apart and, […]

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Global Climate Change & its Link to Soil Organisms

When people think of the consequences of global warming, most jump to the melting ice caps and death of beloved polar bears. We know that as our Earth undergoes climate change, it’s adversely affecting the ecological balance in complex ways. For the first time, however, a study done at the University of California Berkley, has linked climate change to the downfall of microbial species that are considered essential to ecological […]

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The Need to Limit Energy Use

Energy: An Addiction or a Necessity? Energy is arguably the most defining aspect of industrial civilization. For the first couple hundred thousand years of human existence, our ability to affect the world around us was limited by the amount of energy the human body can produce. It is estimated that, on average, a fit laborer can produce about 75 Watts of energy over an eight hour period. To those of […]

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Perfect Pumpkins

To eat, carve, or simply to decorate with, pumpkins are a wonderful annual to grow. The genus Cucurbita L. encompasses a variety of cultivars including Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita argyrosperma, Cucurbita moschata, Cucurbita mixta, and Cucurbita maxima. All Cucurbita varieties are members of the Cucurbitaceae family which also includes cucumbers, squash, and watermelon. While you can’t go wrong planting any variety of pumpkin, you may want to choose your variety based […]

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Art Against Empire: Toward an Aesthetics of Degrowth

Art Against Empire: Toward an Aesthetics of Degrowth

Last friday, I launched my new book called Art Against Empire: Toward an Aesthetics of Degrowth. This book is the outcome of a year-long collaboration with culture jamming artists around the world who produced over 170 images that make up the substance of the book. You can see some of the images here and the book is available for purchase here. What role might art need to play in the […]

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Soil Erosion and Its Monetary Cost

The modernized food industry has pushed farming practices to the back burner in the eyes of consumers. Still, the majority of our food comes from the land. That being said, the issue of soil erosion isn’t making front pages, but amongst those that lobby around organic farming and environmental health issues have identified the degradation as increasingly problematic. In order to help the problem, activists are looking for help from […]

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