Category Archives: Uncategorized

Unclear Thinking and Bad Incentives Harmful to Plants, Animals, Soil

I’m face-deep in finishing graduate school, so posting has been pretty infrequent since the New Year.  But I have to comment on this from the Washington Post: America’s prairies are shrinking. Spurred on by the rush for biofuels, farmers are digging up … Continue reading

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Reading in the Dark

I’m heading to the woods of northwestern Maine for the next week, with legendary naturalist Bernd Heinrich and the Field Naturalist program.  Will certainly bring back some photos and stories. In the meantime, here’s some reading for the darkest weeks of the … Continue reading

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Financial Permaculture for New Year’s Eve

On New Year’s Eve, two important posts from my friend Rafter over at Liberation Ecology: Teeth in the Ethics (Revisited) and Toward Financial Permaculture: New Farms in the Old System.  My suggestion is to read them, then come back here. … Continue reading

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Glimpsing the End of Mountaintop Removal Mining

If there was ever a place in need of “renewing the commons”, it’s Appalachia.  Huge, ancient, megadiverse mountain ecosystems; 12,000 years of human history that’s included some very complicated and intense cultural and economic interactions in the past 500 years; … Continue reading

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Resource Depletion, and Identifying the Real Problem

A little reminder from Tom Philpott about peak phosphorous: The N in NPK, nitrogen, can literally be synthesized from thin air, through a process developed in the early 20th century by the German chemist Fritz Haber. Our reliance on synthetic … Continue reading

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Islands in the Sky

Few people in the Northeast have heard of, let alone visited, the Sky Islands of extreme SE Arizona and SW New Mexico.  They’re a vast, complex series of steep ridges and peaks that form a meeting point between the Sierra … Continue reading

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Upcoming Winter Events

For those interested, I’ll be leading workshops on agroforestry in the Northeast at two conferences in New York this winter. Young Farmer’s Conference at Stone Barns is sold out, but if you’re coming I’ll be teaching at 8:30am on Friday Dec. … Continue reading

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“You Can’t Run a Landscape Indefinitely in a State of Emergency”

Wendell Berry’s latest essay in the Atlantic is a must-read: [A]s ethanol production has driven up the price of grain, our fragile uplands have been invaded by corn and soybeans. Whole farms, with sloping fields that have been in grass as long … Continue reading

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Charles Mann and the Human Story

In an article in Orion magazine, Charles Mann of 1491 writes a sweeping account of all of human history.  You should read it: With two colleagues, Stoneking measured the difference between snippets of DNA in the two louse subspecies. Because DNA is … Continue reading

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A Must-Read Article on Climate Change

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy on the East Coast, please take 10-15 minutes to read “A Convenient Excuse”, a piece by Wen Stephenson on climate change in the Boston Phoenix. I’m not going to quote the article – it deserves … Continue reading

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