7 Easy Substitutes for When Lettuce Won’t Grow

​7 Easy Substitutes for When Lettuce Won't Grow

​​​5 - 6 minute read | Also published on PermacultureNews.org

​​Here are 6 ​plants that can withstand ​heat and high humidity without collapsing into sad little smears of slime, and that you can put in a salad ​without alienating your salad eaters.

​The 7th plant on the list, while very small in stature and not fitting the tropical perennial profile, none-the-less makes a super-sized contribution to the salad bowl.

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Raising Pigs – Can pigs learn table manners?

RAISING PIGS: Can Pigs Learn Table Manners?

Part 3 of a Series | 5 minute read | Also published at PermacultureNews.org 

All pigs are greedy, and large pigs are incredibly strong. Feeding the pigs, as they grow bigger, can easily degenerate into a full body contact sport in which the pig wins and the amateur pig-raiser gets discouraged and gives up on homegrown pork.

​Here are some ​strategies that have worked for us to keep pig-raising enjoyable when those cute little piglets have grown bigger and are no longer cute.

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Raising Pigs – Mobile Pens vs Pigs in One Place

RAISING PIGS: Mobile vs Stationary Pens for Pigs

​Part 1 of a Series | 5 to 6 minute read | Also published at PermacultureNews.org

Assuming you want your pigs to be able to enjoy natural behaviors like digging in living soil, foraging for fresh foods, and wallowing, do they need to be moved frequently onto fresh ground? 

Strategies for housing and feeding pigs vary according to circumstances, and in particular will depend on whether you keep your pigs in one place and can build permanent structures for them, or you want to move them around and need mobile infrastructure.

We’ve tried both – moving pigs around and keeping them in one place. This article shares what we have (so far) found to be the pros and cons of mobile versus stationary pig raising systems, and why we are currently trailing a stationary arrangement for our pigs.

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Two Different Kinds of Healthcare – Part 2

Two Different Kinds of Healthcare - Part 2

Part 2 of ​2; Part 1 is ​here ​Approximately a 6 ​minute read | Originally published ​5th February, 2019, on PermacultureNews.org

health relies on a foundation of family and community, natural remedies, real food, and healthy living habits

How did we ​​become dependent on the doctor visit and the ​prescription? What happened to the ​ways we cared for ​our families before modern pharmaceutical medicine?

​​When the globalized economy ​replaces local ways of living, ​people ​​exchange ​broad skills and ​community-reliance for specialized career paths. ​​

Instead of ​sharing time and resources ​with ​family and neighbors ​to meet everybody's needs, ​people start to work jobs to pay for ​basics​ ​— and also for new commodities that are ​assumed essential to living a modern life.

​Paying for ​your needs ​with money means you ​need not rely on friends and neighbors, ​so families and communities are no longer so tightly bound together. Instead of relying on themselves and each other, families now rely on corporate providers and outside experts.  

​​​Local knowledge ​fades away and the understanding of natural remedies ​​grows ​dim, all but replaced by the profitable kind of medicine that only experts ​know.

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Two Different Kinds of Healthcare – Part 1

Part 1 of 2; Part 2 is here ​​​Approximately a 6 ​minute read | ​​Original version published ​30/1/19, on PermacultureNews.org

health relies on a foundation of family and community, natural remedies, real food, and healthy living habits

​​​​​Our culture loves the quick fix. 

The quicker it works and the less effort we have to put into it, the better we like it. We have fast food, fast internet, fast aps, and... ​pharmaceutical ​medicine. 

​Pharmaceutical medicine is ​the medical equivalent of fast food ​– its fast, its convenient, and it erodes our health over time​. 

​In contrast, at-home healthcare and natural remedies are like home-cooked, real food​ ​they take more time and effort and they ​work more slowly​.

​​​​​Over time, ​at-home healthcare ​and natural ​remedies build robust ​health on many levels, individual and collective.

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7 Ways to use the Humble Choko Vine

​7 Ways to use the Humble Choko Vine

​Approximately a ​4 minute read
Originally published Nov 6th, 2018, at PermacultureNews.org

Green choko fruit and leaf on vine

Chokos, plentifully displayed in baskets and crates at farmers markets in our area throughout the summer months, are boring, bland, and not very useful. 

That's what I used to think, but I've changed my mind.

This short article shares 7 of the ways I use chokos and choko vines since I gained a better appreciation for them.

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Real Food does not come from Supermarkets: 6 Steps from Bare Ground to Homegrown Veggies

​​6 Steps to Homegrown Veggies 

​Approximately a 6 ​minute read | Originally published July 1st, 2018, at PermacultureNews.Org

I imagine that when our grandchildren and great grandchildren read in history books about the supermarkets we relied ​on for food, they’ll wonder what we were thinking.  

My goal is to get to where our family can live without the supermarket entirely. There are many things we have yet to learn on this path; one of our major areas of focus right now is learning to grow more of our own vegies. ​

Recently, we ate our first ever homegrown cauliflower. This post shares how I got from "I don't think I could grow brassicas," to "Ooh look – a cauliflower!"  By the end of the article you’ll appreciate that if we can do it, anyone can.

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Backyard Chickens, and the Interconnectedness of All Things – Part 3

​Backyard Chickens & the interconnectedness of ​everything - Part 3 

Part 3 of a Series ​Approximately a 6 ​minute read | Originally published ​19th October, 2018, on PermacultureNews.org

Large grey rooster

This article shares the funny antics of one of our roosters, whose stories include such things as nesting boxes, ​interested hens, and a falling wheelbarrow. 

It concludes on a more serious note, with the question,

"Can good husbandry, regenerative agriculture, and morally right living, be defined in terms of happiness and connection?"

If you are interested only in ​rooster adventures, this article will be fine to read by itself.

But if you missed the earlier articles in the series, and you’re interested in what backyard chickens have to do with the interconnectedness of all things, you’ll need to go back to the beginning of Part 1. Part 2, if you need it, is here.

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Backyard Chickens, and the Interconnectedness of All Things. Part 2

​Backyard Chickens, and the Interconnectedness of All Things - Part 2

Part 2 of a Series | ​Approximately a 6 ​minute read
Originally published ​10th October, 2018, on PermacultureNews.org


​This article is Part 2 of a Series that is mostly about chickens – not how to care for them, but how to appreciate them as being more complex and interesting than most of us give them credit for.

If you are interested only in chickens, and especially mother hens and chicks, this article will be fine to read by itself. But if you want to know more about where interconnectedness comes into the story, and why it’s important, you’ll need to go back and read the beginning of Part 1.

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