Category: permaculture

Walking my dog and beautifying the 'hood

By , 1 February 2010 13:38

Over the past four months since we started fostering Chloe, I’ve been noticing the damage to lawns caused by crows and other critters going after the grubs of the European Chafer Beetle when I take her out for a walk.

A video from City Farmer explains the problem:

Last week I decided to do something about it. I created a flyer that I am distributing only to houses that have lawn damage clearly attributable to the Chafer Beetle. It isn’t hard to figure out.

Flyer: [Click for full version]

Easy Care Lawn from West Coast Seeds

We don’t need more lawns. Ideally, as the City Farmer says above, we need more vegetable gardens in our front yards like this one,

Front Yard Veggie Garden

but if you are going have a lawn, use a grass seed that doesn’t require much mowing or watering. The product above meets that criteria.

So far, I’ve walked between Cambie and Main from 16th to 19th and plan to go all the way up to 24th. Then I’ll do the same route between Cambie and Oak. It takes me about an hour at a leisurely pace and Chloe loves it too.

 

100 flyers: $5.55

Exercise and improving the world: Priceless

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Politics and Permaculture

By , 12 May 2009 06:31

Found this written in the Vancouver Permaculture Network’s Yahoo group:

As far as politics not being appropriate for a Permaculture listserv, nearly everything we do is affected by politics. Zoning laws decide in many ways the lifestyle we can have.

Can we build a cob house?

Can we live in a hand-built cabin made of recycled materials?

Can we have several people living together on the same land?

In some neighbourhoods you can’t have several unrelated people living together in the same house.

In some neighbourhoods you can’t put up a clotheseline.

Can we plant our front yards with vegetables?

Are cars required to have good fuel economy?

All these things and nearly everything else we do is regulated by laws, if you think about it. And who makes these laws? The government does. If those laws contribute to or lead to unsustainable lifestyles, then those laws need to be changed, or sustainability will be very difficult to ever achieve. Zoning is an excellent example of this. And the only way to change the laws is to change the government and elect people who understand what kind of laws a sustainable society will require. So I don’t understand how Permaculture has nothing to do with politics.

Amen!

Guest post: The hive mind

By , 8 June 2008 09:49

Tammy T was featured in a blog post last summer. Yesterday, she sent this email and I received permission to print it here.

 

I have officially entered the hive mind. It is what I had wanted to do so that I may understand her more succinctly. It is a bit creepy though, when the aging next door neighbor now appears to be a failing queen and the groups of teenagers at the skate park across the street are moving like a cluster of bees at the edge of the hive. I hear the buzz in everything, the tiny tapping of bee feet on wood is my new favorite sensation in my ears and having those same feet clinging to my skin as they walk along my fingers, hands and arms is by far my favorite skin sensation these days. I love being with them, I love learning from them.

The queen though has been a mysterious figure to me since the get go. I know her power and I know some of her challenges these days, but I had yet to meet her. It wasn’t until I met her absence that I began to understand a bit more of what it was that she possessed. And like I said, I have yet to truly meet her, but in time I suppose, in time.

When a hive loses its queen you know it right away, it sounds like a box full of mourning monks chanting the same sorrowful LOUD tone. ZZZZZZZOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHH as opposed to the higher pitch of ZZZEEEEHHHHHHHHHHHH. I am working on understanding the frequencies of pitch and scent used by the bees. The subtleties are where the communication happens in the hive. When I first heard the sorrowful sound I had no idea what it was. My imagination saw the inside of the hive as a high domed cathedral and they were inside praying. I thought that this hive was a special hive, a different hive, that wasn’t so preoccupied with the hum drum of collecting nectar and instead geared her efforts in prayer. I prayed with them

A few days later a queen arrived in the mail from Pennsylvania. A queen breeder who does not use any chemicals sent her. He breeds bees that can live with the destructive varroa mite and survive (they are called survivor stock). As far as queen breeding goes he seems to have an ethical operation, but queen rearing is a whole other topic altogether!

As we put the queen cage in the hive we played a recording of a queen piping (a call a queen makes when she is being born and letting the hive know she is there). The ladies immediately settled down to a low hum. I continued praying with them.

Will they accept her or kill her? Will there be enough workers to tend the hundreds to thousands of eggs she will begin laying if they do accept her? Will she survive her mating flight or will she be eaten by a bird or grasshopper or spider? Who is to say? There are so many variables in this whole wide world of bees. Nature! So many variables! Makes me want to pack it up and go get a predictable office job so I can buy things to keep it all in control! 😉 For someone who is such a proponent of the wild nature of life, I must admit that sometimes I do get flustered with just how wild things really are and I crave some semblance of control. But aha, the bees have called me and I have heeded and so, and so, I humbly submit to the wild nature and ride the ebb and flow of the life and death of the Hive.

For there really is only one Hive. All bees feel it, all the backyard bees that are being loved and treated with such care can feel and are affected by the murder of the queen mother that happens every spring when the majority of beekeepers re-queen their hives to prevent a failing queen or swarming. I believe that we all have the ability to feel these subtleties. It is just that the bees don’t have a choice. Subtleties are how communication happens and if the entities in the wilderness were to tune off the subtleties they would die. Unlike humans who have been trained to tune them out so that we can survive. Imagine if we were in tune with all the subtleties of our world today? We would be completely bombarded with so many chemicals and loud sounds and strong vibrations of our modern industrialized, mechanical, technological era that we would be incapable of doing much else.

I find the Hive mind is much different than the Human mind. It is all connected for sure, but I find that there are so many sections and segments…fragments, I suppose, in the Human state. The Hive mind is continuous and ever flowing. Life, death, pain, love, mystery, assuredness, community and conflict all exist at once. There is no separation between me and my enemy. I will kill you if you try and enter my domain. I will hurt you if you try to steal from me, AND you are me. We all exist as one. I suck on the nectar of your soul and you feed me. I am filled with love and you are love. We all exist as one. Blessed bee 😀

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The Permaculture Concept video

By , 12 September 2007 10:06

In addition to the big picture view, Bill Mollison shows how to setup a growing space on an apartment balcony!!

links for 2007-02-05

By , 5 February 2007 15:37

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