A Happy Peasant

“The job of peasants, you might say, is to stay out of the archives.” –John Scott, “The Art of Not Being Governed” A half dozen years ago I made an important realization: I am a peasant. The word came to me from biologist and plant breeder Carol Deppe, through a comment she made in one(…)

Cookstove Profit, Energy Intentionality, and Quality of Life

In my last post I quoted David Holmgren, a co-founder of Permaculture, who says we should think about what is worth investing in by asking ourselves whether an investment will benefit our children and grandchildren. That perspective was common to our ancestors just 2 and 3 generations ago, before we became so highly dependent upon meeting our(…)

Reflections on the State of Society and Why I am Studying Permaculture

Reflections on the State of Society and Why I am Studying Permaculture

My attention has moved from annual crop production to long-term, permanent crop production. I am certain that real wealth will not be found in bank accounts and retirement accounts – which the Federal Reserve is systematically destroying (whether intentionally or out of ignorance and hubris I don’t know, and it doesn’t matter). Wealth is to(…)

Time Constraints Force a Reevaluation of My Priorities and Methods

Farming has taken on a new seriousness for me, so I have violated my initial principle of doing everything on the cheap. This last summer, for example, I bought a 17′ x 28′ greenhouse. I did get it used, of course, for about 1/3 its new price, and at a third less than the seller(…)

Clearing the Ground: Proof That I’m a Flatlander Lost in the Hills

I laid out my first real garden in 2009. (That’s it in the masthead; partially planted.) I’d made a few feeble attempts in the previous 20 years, but never had the time or composure to take agriculture seriously. Semi-retiring to Vermont re-awakened a dormant urge. But 2009 was the year of heavy rains, and that(…)