Category Archives: Agriculture

The Square of Cultivation.

Appalachian Agrobiodiversity; One’s Gift & Connecting to Place

Appalachia may be one of the poorest regions of the U.S., but when it comes to heirloom crops, it’s got the riches.

Says an NPR article called “On The Trail To Preserve Appalachia’s Bounty Of Heirloom Crops” that describes the bounty of agrobiodiversity existing in the midst of financial scarcity. It is gems like these that offer hope in restoring balance: The current financial-capital intensive economy does not support the life of Appalachia (and in many ways leads to exploitation of it), but finding and working with the forms of capital a region is rich in, such as living capital in Appalachia, reveals windows of opportunity for life to thrive. Continue reading →

A Lesson On Adaptation: Invasive Plant Treating Invasive Disease

During a talk on adaptation at a permaculture gathering (this video @ time 03:38 – 04:12), a speaker pointed out that as climate changes, ticks carrying Lyme disease are coming deeper into the Northeast USA, as are non-native invasives such as Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum cuspidatum). Both of these new things are taken as problems, popping up more than ever in places disturbed by humans, and the conventional treatments for them are high-doses of synthetic anti-biotics and herbicide spraying and cutting respectively (both of which I’ve experienced as very unpleasant, and not guaranteed effective, for everything except maybe chemists and their sales).

The speaker at this gathering pointed out that as inhabitants of Earth we too must adapt, and if we try to rather than wage war on our enemies, then we may find a much easier way to go about things – it turns out Japanese Knotweed, which is popping up imperialistically and quickly regenerating itself, has many medicinal uses including as food treatment for Lyme disease (which, however you treat it, calls for a sustained healthful diet and accompanying gut flora/immune system).

For more information on Japanese Knotweed as a treatment for Lyme disease, see:

Networking – I give thanks

A friend of mine explained why the goat and the cow he owns does not live in his backyard and in doing so, shared with me a valuable lesson: for herd animals, such as cows (or humans), it is stressful to be isolated and wellness necessitates some degree of community. Since then the lesson has grown on me. I’ve grown to better recognize the place of the hermit-personality and of the community in one’s life. This post shares a little bit about the role and value of community in my life.
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