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

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

​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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Backyard Chickens, and the Interconnectedness of All Things. Part 1

​Backyard Chickens, and the Interconnectedness of All Things - Part 1

​Part 1 of a Series | Approximately a ​5 minute read.
​Originally published Oct 3rd, 2018, at​.

This 3-Part Series ​starts off with our cultural lack of understanding about our place in the web of life, which is at the root of why our efforts to address ecological destruction aren’t working yet.

If you were mainly interested in chickens, stay with me – I’ll get onto backyard chickens in the second part of Part 1, and then I’ll stick almost entirely to chickens for the rest of the Series.

Please note, though, that this is not a “how to take care of chickens” Series (you can find those everywhere).

​This is about how to appreciate chickens as more than just egg-layers and garden-scratchers. And, by extension, how to appreciate any living thing beyond just its immediately apparent functions.

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5 Cut and Carry Goat Fodder Plants that Poultry, Pigs, Cattle and People can also eat

​5 Cut & Carry Goat Fodder plants that Chickens, Pigs, Cattle and People can also eat

(Approximately a 6 ​minute read)

Growing our own milk, eggs, and / or meat is a step in the right direction, but relying on the feed ​store to help us do it means we’re still relying on fossil fuel-based agriculture and supply systems.

Since our goal is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, at the time of writing this article I was growing an increasing amount of our own goat feed, for our two milking goats.

To make it onto the list ​that you’re about to read, these plants had to be great for goat fodder, AND serve a variety of other functions as well.

(Please note that some of the plants listed here were also listed in “8 Abundant Fodder Forest Plants, and How to Use Them.”)

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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 & How to Use Them 

​​5 minute read | Also published at

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.


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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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