As the wheel turns…(Imbolc Intentions)

Here we are at another turn of the wheel of the year.

Today marks the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.  Many who celebrate the seasons of the Earth call this day Imbolc, although it is also known as Candlemas to some and Bride’s Eve to others.

This is the time when winter may start to feel long, gray, and drawn out, but the spirit of this holiday reminds us to keep searching.  Just beneath the snow are the rumblings of spring.  Just as we look out to another gray sky, we also see the days growing longer and new buds on the trees. Continue reading

Super Simple DIY Diaper Spray

As you might have guessed, we are a cloth diapering family.

From day one, our baby has had a fluffy bottom and she’s still going strong at 13 weeks.

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Permaculture for Urban Homes and Small Spaces

One of the best things about blogging is discovering a new community of people with shared interests and goals.  One such kindred spirit is Mari of the blog Gather and Grow.  She is a fellow lover of permaculture and has graciously shared some great tips and inspiration for many of us who are interested in being more self-sufficient but feel limited by the space constraints of the urban environment.

Whether you live in an urban environment, or on many acres of land – I think you’ll find something useful here!

Permaculture Strategies for Urban Homes and Small Spaces

Permaculture designers love challenges. After all, permaculture is not just a set of organic gardening techniques, but a toolkit, a decision-making process, for designing sustainable human settlements. And one of its fundamental principles is: “The problem is the solution.”

What if we apply this principle to a challenge that many of us are all too familiar with: living in small urban spaces with little or no access to actual soil on which to grow food? Permaculture and gardening books present pictures of lovely, lush farm landscapes and large suburban lots overflowing with greenery, fruit trees, and vegetable gardens, perhaps even with small livestock. But what do you do if you live in an apartment, or have only a postage-stamp-sized bit of yard by your front door?

The permaculture answer: you can still do a lot. In this case, seeing the problem as the solution means turning the seeming constraints of an urban environment – the density of buildings, people, and resources – to your advantage, and doing things like intensive planting, vertical growing, and maximizing solar exposure in- and outdoors. Here I present ideas and strategies first for the apartment dweller, and then for those who do have yard space but it’s limited. Continue reading

Happy Mabon! (And a maple-glazed squash recipe)

It’s Mabon, the fall equinox, and I can certainly tell that the days are starting to wind down into longer nights.

Today, the day and night are equal and everything is in balance.  It’s a wonderful time to reflect on the concept of balance in your own life.  What can you do to find peace between the light and dark parts of yourself?  Continue reading

Forest Farming, Inoculating Mushroom Logs, and a Surprise

Recently I attended a weekend workshop focused on forest farming.

I can hear you ask, “What’s forest farming?”

Well, it’s the process of growing non-timber forest crops beneath the canopy of an established forest. In this way, forest farming is a form of “productive conservation” – you’re reaping benefits of crops grown in the forest while protecting the land from destruction. Examples of non-timber forest farmed products include: maple syrup, medicinal plants, mushrooms, nuts, ornamental woodland species, and fruit. (Learn more here.)

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Simple Summer Living

Summer is in full swing.

My breakfasts are full of local berries,

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and my little urban yard brings a plethora of goodies. It’s pretty amazing what can fit in a small space when you fill it to the brim!   It’s certainly not a garden of perfect little rows, but it is producing a lot and no space is lost.

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deliberateLIFE – eMagazine Review

Recently, I received a request to take a look at a new virtual magazine called deliberateLIFE.  I wasn’t sure whether I should accept or not as I already have plenty on my plate at the moment, but when I went to the website and found their manifesto, I decided it was worth a try.

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It’s International Permaculture Day!

Happy, happy International Permaculture Day! !

Have you been doing anything to celebrate (maybe even if you didn’t know it was today)? Continue reading

Inspiration

Well, I’ve been away for a little longer than usual.  It’s strange to be away from the blog for so long, but there has been a lot going on in the “real world”.  Some of the most exciting things are that it looks like we’re getting closer to a house with more land (yay!!) and we will be having our commitment ceremony this June on the summer solstice (double yay!!).  Continue reading