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107 articles in category sustainability / Subscribe


I’ve now read more books than I can count on the topics of gardening, permaculture, orchardry err fruit-growing (see, no clue), and general homesteading. And I still fly by the seat of my pants when it comes to just about everything around here.

I bounce around garden areas, watering, fertigating, thinning, side-dressing with comfrey, and saying things like “We really should prune those fruit trees this winter” and “We could grow a ton of this stuff to feed goats!” As if I know anything about any of that stuff.

We’re in the on-the-job training program around here, and one of the educators we’ve had is a collection of books on sustainability. Every time I crack open the pages to a new book on gardening, sustainability, permaculture, or land management; I think it’ll just be the same-old, same-old. But I am happy to continue to be proved wrong with books like Edible Landscaping with a Permaculture Twist.

I think this books is great for folks like me who need someone to simplify the basics of permaculture with doable small steps.

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It’s eight o’clock at night and bright as can be. The baby is asleep, it’s still over 90 degrees, and when my littlest man asks if I want to go on a garden walk, I say yes. I could be washing dishes. There’s always laundry to tend to. But I grab a couple of little hands and we head down paths well-worn.

I’m not that mom who celebrates saying yes. Much of the time I say no – not because I want to, but because I have to – and I don’t usually feel guilty about it. There are a lot of chores to do on our little homestead, and many of them can’t wait. These boys pitch in a lot – laundry, dishes, spreading mulch, pulling weeds, making beds, fetching tools for Daddy, learning to milk goats – and that sharing of the burden binds us in a way. They’re in better shape than I ever was – who has a six pack at five years old?! – and know how to do things at 6 & 8 that I’m still learning at 31.

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