Help! Small birds are eating us out of house and home!

...re we sparking a goldfinch obesity crisis? Our yard does have more natural food sources, like native sunflowers and white sage gone to seed. Perhaps we should have left it at that? ( I suspect we’re not going to win any permaculture awards for our feeder.) Bird people, help! What are your thoughts on feeders? Is it okay to leave the feeder empty sometimes? Does that encourage foraging, or is it just not very nice to be random about the fill...

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What’s the Best Solar Food Dryer?

...e way to go. Scanlin tested three dryers, the Appalachian Solar Food Dryer (an indirect dryer that he invented) against a direct dryer developed by the Brace Research Institute and the Poisson indirect dryer. In an article in Permaculture Activist, “Evaluating Solar Food Dryers: Stocking Up with Solar Power,” Scanlin says, The Appalachian indirect dryer produced higher temperatures than the other two dryers and also removed more moist...

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Induced Demand

...uit trees because I had a greywater system? Has this caused more water consumption in our current drought? Honestly, I think the answer is yes. You could probably find induced demand between the lines of David Homgren’s permaculture principles. But perhaps we should insert a thirteenth principle: acknowledge induced demand and work to prevent it. Simply being aware of the phenomenon is a good first step in avoiding its pitfalls. My original...

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The Sami Way

...eak for themselves (though you won’t be able to taste the delicious reindeer meat Kuhmunen served). A wooden form of the traditional circular Sami hut. Kuhmunen speaking eloquently about what can only be called arctic permaculture, life in touch with the cycles of life and the importance of context specific design. And speaking of context, the smoke of the fire rising up through a hole in the roof. The dirt floor is insulated with a laye...

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Journal of the New Alchemists

...instability, sounds a lot like what people have been up to since the 2008 economic bubble: aquaculture, organic gardening, earth building, market gardens, no-till agriculture, old timey music, wind power, four season growing, permaculture, non-hierarchical leadership and goats. Only the 1980s era of appropriate technology amnesia separates current efforts from the work of the New Alchemists. Aquaponic system. Image: Journal of the New Alchemy. By...

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Village Homes: A Model for Sustainable Suburbs

...es the whole development 10 degrees Farhenhiet cooler in the summer than the surrounding suburbs. I could go on and on, but perhaps the best way to get a feel for it is to watch the 10 minute video above. It’s hosted by Permaculture guru Bill Mollison, who’s a big fan of the development.  It’s well worth the time to watch it all the way through. Also, here’s a short paper on the development, which gives all the pertinent f...

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Asking the Right Questions

...(depending on the version) he either asks simply, “What ails thee?” or “Whom does the grail serve?” In this way, he finds the grail. I was thinking about this myth this weekend in Larry Santoyo’s Permaculture Design Course when Larry stressed the importance of asking the right questions. It got me thinking about the kind of questions we need to ask about the many subjects covered on this blog. Take for instance bees....

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Saturday Linkages: From Bananas to Laird’s Laws

Breaking news from Mrs. Homegrown’s alma mater–banana plant busts through glass roof at Smith College conservatory http://www.gazettenet.com/news/9182534-95/banana-plant-busts-through-glass-roof-at-smith-college-conservatory#.UrzZKcw8rbU.twitter … Goleta considers groovy permaculture ordinance: http://www.independent.com/news/2013/dec/23/goleta-considers-groovy-green-ordinance/ … Spanish sperm whale death linked to UK supermarket su...

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Saturday Linkages: Holiday Edition

...ing.net/2013/12/15/bike-helmets-and-safety-a-cas.html … Avoid Antibacterial Soaps, Say Consumer Advocates http://on.natgeo.com/18Pptyh  Arizona Food and Farm Finance Forum 2014 http://garynabhan.com/i/archives/2366  Practical Permaculture – Planting Under Fruit Trees http://wp.me/p2Lm7J-wK  For these links and more, follow Root Simple on Twitter: Follow @rootsimple...

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Saturday Linkages: Soils, Prickly Pear and the Case for Going Outside

Soil diagram from the Garden Professors. Let’s get (soil) physical… https://sharepoint.cahnrs.wsu.edu/blogs/urbanhort/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=943 … The Science Behind Honey’s Eternal Shelf Life http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/science/2013/08/the-science-behind-honeys-eternal-shelf-life/#.Uh0YB1lfCUw.twitter … Open Tech Forever: permaculture/open tech startup: http://boingboing.net/2013/08/21/open-tech-forever-permacultur.html …...

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