sustainable-farming

🌿Nick standing in front of the elementary school garden he designed and planted.💛We planted this garden/edible landscape in April of last year, and it has been so rewarding to watch it grow and flourish🍃✨So proud of him, for manifesting such a meaningful project!💞it will continue to be such a fulfilling learning opportunity for the children, community, and for ourselves; to be able to observe a living example of a symbiotic, sustainable, sustenance providing ecosystem!💫

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Eighteen years ago, on New Year’s Eve, David Fisher visited an old farm in western Massachusetts, near the small town of Conway. No one was farming there at the time, and that’s what had drawn Fisher to the place. He was scouting for farmland.

“I remember walking out [to the fallow fields] at some point,” Fisher recalls. “And in the moonlight – it was all snowy – it was like a blank canvas.”

On that blank canvas, Fisher’s mind painted a picture of what could be there alongside the South River. He could see horses tilling the land – no tractors, no big machinery – and vegetable fields, and children running around.

This is David Fisher’s American Dream. It may not be the conventional American Dream of upward economic mobility. But dreams like his have a long tradition in this country. Think of the Puritans and the Shakers and the Amish. These American dreams are the uncompromising pursuit of a difficult ideal.

By Returning To Farming’s Roots, He Found His American Dream

Photos: Dan Charles/NPR

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Preparing the meat that we raised together as a family.
July 11th 2016
Atlanta, Georgia

This is our fourth year of running our backyard rabbitry. Our rabbits are cared for and loved. We have a great admiration and respect for the animal. Before we butcher our rabbits my children have learned to say, “Thank you for being here for us and for making us stronger, we will not waste your meat, you are now a part of us.” The children do not have any problems with the harvesting of the rabbits they help raise. They are excited and feel like they are contributing to the family. We believe this makes them more confident growing into the people they will become and more respectful to the environment they are growing within. There is something that has changed within us since we began raising our own meat. There is an understanding that is gained by being responsible for the lives that we end so we can continue. We are tighter as a family because we shoulder the reality of understanding how much dies to keep us alive. Past experience in sharing these particular endeavors that we engage in as a family lead me to believe that many of you reading this may find it unsettling, to say the least. We only ask that you try to understand that we are choosing not to participate in factory farmed meats. The meat that we harvest and eat in our house has been loved or, if hunted, has lived a real life.

We hope our latest family blog post finds you doing well and in the present moment with an open mind.

Most respectfully,

K

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I didn’t realize how valuable this practice is for people who grow their own food.  Preserving Heirloom seeds is also invaluable for keeping species of plants available for future growth.  Their organization is doing remarkable work.  If you want to grow something truly unique and preserve history, look up seedsavers.org.

Are you a young person that ditched suburban/urban life to live off-grid, go WWOOFing, be more self-sustainable, live more simply, and/or be closer to nature?

I’m planning a new nonfiction work about Young People Divorcing Themselves from the Suburbs/Cities, who and why and how. If you consider yourself one of these people and would consent to an email interview (or maybe even down the line, a meetup or visit!) please let me know! I’d love to hear your story and include it in a future published work. It’s a phenomenon I’ve been observing among my friends and peers and think it deserves a good, honest documentation. 

Email me at marandart@gmail.com with the subject line, “Divorced from the Suburbs”. (It’s kind of the working title.) 

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Straw Bale Gardening

One of the thriftiest, most versatile ways to garden is what’s called Straw Bale gardening. Often cheaper than garden soil or fertilizer, straw bales are found virtually everywhere. Craigslist, home depot or other home improvement stores will sell them for pennies on the dime when push comes to shove.

But what can you grow?

The answer: just about anything.

Moisture and heat collect in the straw bale like a trap. Tomatoes, corn and other tall plants can break the bale apart the taller they get, but potatoes and herbs will thrive in your bale. 

Hay bales start to decompose just hours after they get wet and can provide an atmosphere better than your greenhouse. By digging a hole into your bale, dropping in some soil around your plants and packing it firmly, you’ll add some stability to your plant and as your bale decomposes, it will provide a steady source of nutrition all throughout the growing season.

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A Thousand Suns - 

A Thousand Suns tells the story of the Gamo Highlands of the African Rift Valley and the unique worldview held by the people of the region. This isolated area has remained remarkably intact both biologically and culturally. It is one of the most densely populated rural regions of Africa yet its people have been farming sustainably for 10,000 years. Shot in Ethiopia, New York and Kenya, the film explores the modern world’s untenable sense of separation from and superiority over nature and how the interconnected worldview of the Gamo people is fundamental in achieving long-term sustainability, both in the region and beyond.

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Harry Cotton tells you all to “Change Your Cotton”