What do Lizards, Procrastination, and Permaculture principles have to do with Your Brain?

​What do Lizards, Procrastination, and Permaculture principles have to do with Your Brain? 

(Approximately a ​5 minute read)

​Photo​: Christo Goosen, Pexels

​​Did you know there’s a lizard in your brain that’s the source of all your resistance to difficult, boring, intimidating or uncomfortable tasks?  

And that this lizard can be re-trained, using ​Permaculture principles (or just good old natural un-common sense) to work with human nature to ​achieve ​your goals (instead of sabotaging them)?

This Series of articles will show you how.

Here, in Part 1, I’ll explain the human brain structure in very simple terms. We’ll meet the “lizard brain” that lives in the base of your skull and find out what makes it tick. 

By the end of ​this article, you’ll understand why procrastination and avoidance are such frustratingly common human behaviors. ​

Read the article at PermacultureNews.org.

​​This is Part 1 of a Series​.

Re-examining Freedom

​Re-examining Freedom 

(Approximately a ​4 minute read)

​Up until around the time ​we became parents, ​Alain ​and I ​never questioned our assumptions about freedom. ​​

​The story of our time says ​this is ​normal:

  • to ​be chained to debt and to schedules, 
  • to have ​little or no control over where our food originates, 
  • to be walled off from nature, 
  • and to be more connected to ​each other via screens than in person.  

​This post describes how we began to question that story, and to re-examine ​what freedom means to us. 

​(This is Part 3 in a Series about our family's journey towards real and green.)

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8 Abundant Fodder Forest Plants, & How to Use Them

​8 Abundant "Fodder Forest" Plants, and How to Use Them 

​(Approximately a ​5 minute read)

fence and green foliage

​This morning when I went to feed the animals, I thought I’d start with collecting some pigeon pea for ​the horses, and see what I could find for the pigs​ in the fodder forest while I was there.

Our fodder forest is a small beginning in my long-term goal to ​eliminate our dependence on fossil fuel-based agriculture.

This article lists 8 of my favorite multi-purpose fodder-and-food plants, and some of the ways I use them.

​Originally published June 14, 2018 ​at PermacultureNews.org.

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Do We Still Need Non-digital Ways of Remembering and Sharing Experiences?

Do we still need non-digital ways of remembering and sharing our experiences?

(Approximately a 6 - 7 minute read)

​​​There are aspects of ​re-experiencing and sharing a story, that cannot be ​digitally preserved.

When your friend says, “Remember that camping trip?” they are not just recalling dry facts, the names of campsites, stops marked off on an itinerary. 

Your friend is recalling a host of felt perceptions and experiences that have shaped the relationship you share and have become part of who you are.

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Getting Together

Why Getting Together Is So Hard To Do 

​(Approximately an 8 to 10 minute read for the average reader)

​​​​Did we lose more than we gained, when we advanced from "social mammal," to "modern individual"?

Earlier in my life I didn't see the point of sitting around chatting. I was in a hurry. I had a lot of urgent work to do, and not enough time to do it.

Important things, like connecting with each other just for the sake of it, don't feel urgent. They hover quietly in the background.

Sometimes ​those important things hover, unattended, until ​we get to a point ​in our lives where we look back and wish we had done more socializing, and less striving. More giving and connecting, and less acquiring and directing. 

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Ditching the Supermarket


Ditching the Supermarket

​Approximately an 8 to 10 minute read

​​​​​Usually when something seems too good to be true, there's a catch. The supermarket catch is a big one, and multifaceted.

The choice to shop at the supermarket really seems to be a no-brainer. You can get everything you need at one location, including a pre-packaged dinner.  You're back in the car before the kids get to melt-down stage, and it’s cheaper there than anywhere else. It seems too good to be true. 

In this article we’ll sniff out the real story behind the cheap convenience on the supermarket shelves.

We’ll look at the complex web of connections and consequences that attend our supermarket choices.

And we’ll uncover the reasons why reducing your dependence on supermarkets could be one of the most powerful things you’ll ever do to make a difference – for your own family’s health and for the health and resilience of your local community and the ecosystems you rely on.

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Thinking for yourself

​Thinking For Yourself

(Approximately a 6 ​minute read)

Thinking for yourself, to me, means understanding what influences your thoughts, questioning everything, and then making your own informed decisions with consideration for the short AND long-term consequences to yourself and other living beings.

Aside from building more autonomy and self-reliance into your life, ​this kind of thinking​ will help ​dismantle the existing growth-at-all-costs system that relies on consumers who don't think for themselves.

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On Eating Meat

On Eating Meat

​(This post is approximately a 7 to 9 minute read.)

​​​"Happy meat" comes from animals raised in ecosystems, not cages, and ​​​never crowded or rushed.

We eat only happy meat – meat from our own animals that lived happy lives as part of a complete ecosystem, not in pens or cages, ​and without ​stress and tension ​caused by crowding, rushing, or inappropriate ​feeds ​or medications. 

Could you produce some of your own animal foods even if you don't live on acreage? 

What if you can't, or don't want, to raise your own animals? Can you still eat happy meat?

What if you've chosen a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle to care for animals and protect them from exploitation?

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How Did Organ Meats Become “Offal” (Awful)?

How Did Organ Meats Become "Awful" (Offal)?

​(Approximately a 7 minute read)

​​​Organ meats were the animals' most precious gift to humanity.

Universally, in traditional cultures, organ meats were eaten first, with reverence, and often raw.

A family or community gathered around a carcass, gave thanks and honored the life of the animal, then ate the precious organs before processing the rest of the meat. Organ meats were the animals’ most nutritious, most powerful, gift to humanity.

In modern society, we tend to be repelled by the idea of eating organ meats. What happened?

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Regenerative Farming and Gardening

​Regenerative Farming and Gardening

​(This post is just a 2 to 3 minute read)

​​Regenerative gardening and farming ​has an intention not just to feed ​people, but to leave the entire web of life stronger, richer, more complex and more resilient after our growing systems are in place, than​ it was before.

Growing food regeneratively means growing food in ecosystems, not mono-cultures. Biologically diverse, stable ecosystems that grow more vigorous and more bountiful with each passing season.

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