Category Archives: Links of Interest

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 →

The Honorable Harvest, Lectures Shared by Dr. Robin Kimmerer

It’s not the land that’s broken, it’s our relationship with the land that’s broken, and you and I can heal that.

2014: The Honorable Harvest: Indigenous Knowledge and Conservation

2012: Reclaiming the Honorable Harvest: Indigenous Knowledge for a Sustainable Future

Robin Kimmerer is a botanist, a writer and member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. She teaches in the Department of Environment and Forest Biology at SUNY-ESF, where she is the director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. She is active in efforts to respectfully bring the wisdom of traditional ecological knowledge together with the tools of western science for our shared concerns for sustainability. Kimmerer is the author of “Gathering Moss: A Natural and Cultural History of Mosses,” which received a John Burroughs Medal. Her talk, “Reclaiming the Honorable Harvest: Indigenous Knowledge for a Sustainable Future,” examines ways in which traditional indigenous approaches to the environment and harvest as practiced by the Potawatomi can teach us valuable lessons about healing our own relationship to the living earth.

On Changing The World

There exists lots of information on restoration, agroecology, ethics, …but it has to get out there. How to diffuse such innovation? I think Dr. Kimmerer has a key: find one’s own gift and spread it. The Great Work

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:

Ron Finley Highlighting a Revolution: Guerrilla Gardening

The article The Next American Revolution Has Begun And This Is What It Looks Like, listed on Resilient Communities, features guerrilla gardener Ron Finley and his work in South Central Los Angelas, USA, where he grew up and now raises children of his own. The article emphasizes that significant change, a food-security revolution even, toward greater liberty and vitality is possible for individuals and communities, and that this change may be brought about by “decentralization of everything[, which] is the key to building a thriving local economy”. Ron Finley shares a similar message of localization (at least of food) and leads the article by example in the featured TED Talk which shows him working to regain “control over his food supply and health, while also setting his community on a path towards resilience and independence.”

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On troublesome conventional agriculture – an article titled “Why vegetarianism will not save the world”

“The truth is that agriculture is the most destructive thing humans have done to the planet, and more of the same won’t save us. The truth is that agriculture requires the wholesale destruction of entire ecosystems. The truth is also that life isn’t possible without death, that no matter what you eat, someone has to die to feed you.”

The above is an excerpt from this article on Metador Network, “Why vegetarianism will not save the world”. Below I will share a comment of mine on this article shared via Facebook and quote the parts of the interview which stood out to me.

Continue reading →