Hillside Hugelkultur Revisited

Steep Slope Stabilization 6 Month Check Up So its been over 6 months since we started our first hillside hugelkultur test and I’m happy to report that the results look good. If you’re unfamiliar with the process take a look at this post here. Over the summer the hillside was clearly very damaged with little more than rocks left on …

Small Engineered Wetland & Climate Change

The Global Power of Wetlands: The Absorption of Carbon There is a lot of data out there about how important wetlands are to the safety and future of the planet but there is little emphasis placed on the ability of wetlands to capture carbon. Wetlands absorb carbon at a higher rate than more dry land for a few reasons. First, …

Syria: An Open Letter to the President, Congress, and Leaders Around the World

Ladies and Gentlemen we stand at a crossroads. Before us is a choice that you’ll be making on our behalf. Despite what many of the citizens of the United States and elsewhere think and feel and no matter how vocal we are the choice is your choice and despite what you might feel about this Syrian civil war personally it …

Permaculture and relocation

The Push to Move and Migrate We’re very much still the same people we were over 10,000 years ago when we began to settle down. So when times get tough we often think if we just move we’ll be better off. While in the times when we were hunter/gatherers that was to find a place with more food today we …

Experimental Permaculture: Steep Slope Stabalization

Erosion Control What do you do if you’ve got a steep bank, one that is already eroding away, specifically one that’s in a tight space where you can’t change the angle very much, maybe one below a road bed or some other already built up area where you can’t loose any more soil without risking collapse? There are a few …

Land Owners

We’re now officially land owners Here is the latest lay-out of our landscape design (focusing on the plants and things more than the house). It’s hard to read the list of plants so they’re detailed below. This has not been presented to the township or the neighborhood so it’s subject to change but as soon as the weather breaks we …

Natural Building Progress

Just a quick update to say that the lot we have a contract on is buildable! This means as long as the title is clear and the price (which is based on back-taxes owed since the 1980s) is where we need it to be! Here is a look at the lot and where we want our house via an overhead …

Walnuts – that is the question

Should we grow walnuts? It’s not an easy question to answer. For us partly because we have a reliable source of black walnuts at my mothers house where she has 3 nut producing trees including one rouge tree that is only about a decade old. It’s not an easy question for lots of other people either even if they don’t …

Certified Permaculture Designer

Phipps Permaculture Design Course I did it – I’ve been certified through Phipps Permaculture Design Course. What is a Permaculture Design Course? In a nutshell permaculture design is a set of principals that apply ecological methodology to solve problems in a less energy intensive ways through finding and replicating natural patterns, creating feedback loops, reducing or eliminating waste, and by …

The Sustainability of City Living

Feed the City The city I live in, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has in it 300,000 people (give or take a few thousand) and while we have an amazing market area – a hub – for produce, meats, dairy products, and event flowers in the Strip District much of that food is brought in from far away places. That means that we …