Book Review: The Blood of the Earth: An Essay on Magic and Peak Oil

Phoebe

Phoebe says that despite her midnight coat and lambent eyes, she has nothing whatsoever to do with magic. Or peak oil. And for the record, she also scorns Halloween.

What do magic and peak oil have to do with one another? Quite a lot, actually, if you believe the author, John Michael Greer. And if you read The Blood of the Earth: An Essay on Magic and Peak Oil you’ll probably come to agree with him, because in this book, as in all of his writing, Greer is remarkably lucid, straightforward and persuasive.

Blood of the Earth is unlike any other book you’ll read on peak oil. It’s challenging, honest, sobering and inspiring.

It’s not a end-times book. Greer doesn’t do apocalypse. Nor is it an airy-fairy “we’ll save the world by the magic of positive thinking” sort of book. Instead, it is an investigation of the spiritual/psychological impulses that play out in our responses to peak oil. Part of this is understanding behavior and propaganda in magical terms. To do this, Greer offers a quick, intriguing primer on Western magic.

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Chairs, are they killing us?

Even American cats sit in chairs.

The knee injuries I’ve accumulated running, hiking and fencing have a lot to do with basic flexibility problems. Mrs. Root Simple likens my inflexibility to that of a ginger bread man. So should I plant my stiff derriere on the nearest yoga mat? Or should I throw out all our furniture? I’m thinking the latter. Let me explain.

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The Best Raw Flax Cracker Recipe

I have to admit to not being a huge fan of the raw food movement. Now I think we should all eat some raw food, but many nutrients are accessible only through cooking. That being said, I like a few recipes that came out of the raw craze, especially flax crackers. My favorite flax cracker recipe is the onion cracker bread you can find here.

This easy to make recipe requires no pre-soaking or sprouting.  All you do is mix the ingredients (onions, flax seed, sunflower seeds, olive oil and agave syrup) in a bowl and spread it on a tray in your dehydrator.

The problem is that these crackers are so tasty they disappear within a day.

Do you have a favorite raw recipe? Leave a comment with a link!

Saturday Linkages: Fueling Up

Only in India

DIY
Six ways to reuse plastic mesh bags: http://collectedquotidian.com/2012/10/21/six-ways-to-reuse-plastic-mesh-produce-bags/ 

How I Work: I’m Mark Frauenfelder, Editor-In-Chief of MAKE Magazine, and This Is How I Work – http://lifehacker.com/5954275/im-mark-frauenfelder-editor+in+chief-of-make-magazine-and-this-is-how-i-work 

Free Heat for Your Home: Homemade Briquettes and Logs http://naturalbuildingblog.com/free-heat-for-your-home-homemade-briquettes-and-logs/ 

Thoughtstylings
Mark Bittman: A Simple Fix for Farming http://nyti.ms/VjNlZb

Fueling up: http://we2our2.blogspot.com/2012/10/fueling-up.html 

Health
The Island Where People Forget to Die http://nyti.ms/S3Mitk

Bikes
Nice graphic showing why taking the lane is a good idea. http://ow.ly/eIgHH  (via Commute Orlando) 

From the Root Simple Archive 
Appletastic Apple Cake http://www.rootsimple.com/2010/12/applet

For these links and more, follow Root Simple on Twitter:
 Follow @rootsimple

Pomegranate Factoids

Our pomegranate tree this morning.

Since we’ve had a few pomegrante questions coming in in the past week (it’s the tail end of harvest time) I thought I’d provide a link to more information on growing pomegranates than you’ll ever need to know courtesy of UC Davis.

If you live in a hot, dry climate that doesn’t freeze much you should get yourself a pomegranate tree. They’ll grow in more humid climates but may not produce much fruit. Ours took five years, from planting as a bare root tree, to get the  modest crop you see in the picture.

It’s one of my favorite trees–delicious fruit, a red flowers in the spring and a gorgeous display of yellow leaves in the fall–what more could you ask for?

If you’ve been successful growing pomegranates outside of California (and worldwide) leave a comment letting us know where you live. I’m curious about the range of this tree.

Steve Solomon’s Soil and Health e-Library

I’m really enjoying the incredible variety of obscure old books being scanned and put up on the interwebs. Of interest to readers of this blog will be the archive of free e-books maintained by gardening author Steve Solomon. His Soil and Health e-library contains books on “holistic agriculture, holistic health and self-sufficient homestead living” You can download the books for free, but Solomon requests a modest $13 donation. You can find this amazing resource at: www.soilandhealth.org.

The “Radical Agriculture” part of the archive contains many early organic ag classics by authors such as Sir Albert Howard, J.I. Rodale and Ehrenfried Pfeiffer. The “Homesteading” part of the library contains tomes dating from the 1700s (William Ellis’ The Country Housewife’s Family Companion), all the way to the appropriate technology movement of the 1970s (Gene Logsdon’s Getting Food From Water: A guide to Backyard Aquaculture). 

So go load up those e-readers. Or maybe print them out in case we have a revolution.