A More Nutritious Garden

Originally posted on Williams Street Farmhouse:

The weather has been startlingly spring-like lately and seed catalogs have been arriving to the Williams Street Farmhouse in droves.  I planted my first seeds last week (onions, leeks, celery and some herbs) and we can officially say, let the gardening season begin!  This is one of my favorite parts of the gardening season, the dreaming stage.

This year my dreams are fueled by an excellent book called Eating on the Wild Side by Jo Robinson.  The premise of the book is that many of the nutritious aspects of fruits and vegetables have been bred out in our quest to make our food sweeter, less bitter, store better, etc.  The more wild a plant is, generally, the more nutrients it has.  The book is loaded with information on how to buy, grow, and store the most nutritious foods.

As gardeners we are lucky because we can grow a greater variety…

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Back to the future

Back to the future: A service has been invented through which you can send messages to people in the future. To whom would you send something, and what would you write? (prompt from DailyPost)

I’ve been flipping through seed catalogs and a most excellent magazine I found at the grocery store, Urban Farm, planning out what we’ll grow this year. I want my letter to the future to ask what grew well. Will my future self write back?

An update on my non-profit credit rating agency, which could revolutionize how economies are graded

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walrissa:

Care of the earth, care of the people, and reinvest the surplus for the betterment of both.

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Annette Heuser speaks on why the big three credit rating agencies don't have to have a stronghold on sovereign ratings at TEDGlobal 2013. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Annette Heuser speaks on why the big three credit rating agencies don’t have to have a stronghold on sovereign ratings at TEDGlobal 2013. Photo: James Duncan Davidson

By Annette Heuser

Eight months after my talk at TEDGlobal 2013, much progress has been made on the International Non-profit Credit Rating Agency (INCRA) concept. The progress, however, has not been in the credit rating agency world itself, which is slow to change, despite strong criticism from political officials and, occasionally, the media.

You may recall the public outrage over ratings at the height of the Euro Crisis in 2011 and 2012. Then, the so-called “big three” credit rating agencies ― Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s and Fitch ― downgraded the US and several European countries. Dramatic headlines renewed public interest in sovereign ratings and the institutions that produce them. [ted_talkteaser id=1937]The attention inspired me to think about a new way to address…

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TogetherFarm – Everything is Awesome!

The boys love to "help" in the garden
The boys love to "help" in the garden

My kids are obsessed with LEGO (the plural of LEGO doesn’t have an ‘s’) and we have them all over our living room. All. Over. And LEGO games. LEGO Marvel is played for a couple of hours a week, as is LEGO DC. We already played LEGO Harry Potter, Star Wars and Indiana Jones. I love them all. As they say in the LEGO Movie, everything (LEGO) is awesome!

So, when I saw TogetherFarm on Kickstarter last year I jumped on board. TogetherFarm has made LEGO-like bricks, made from food-grade recycled plastic,  for enclosing raised bed gardens  - you can buy them now on Amazon. The sets are pretty small but our plan is to combine our set of blocks with our Nourishmat system, also something we funded on Kickstarter, or the “Salad-a-Day” seed pack that came with our 4′X4′ set of blocks.

The boys are already interested in gardening but I feel like they need their own garden space, not just mine. They can use these tools to help them learn and get started, with guidance from me. Not exactly permaculture for kids but I like how many fun tools there are to involve children in the garden.

First light

First light: Remember yesterday, when you wrote down the first thought you had this morning? Great. Now write a post about it. (prompt from DailyPost)

Maybe not first light so much (it’s coming soon and I promise to take a picture) as much as first notions.

It must be spring because my head is filled with more ideas and new life for old ideas than I can handle. It’s almost completely overwhelming. I have been keeping notes on my phone, on scraps of paper, in a little spiral journal I uncovered while cleaning off my desk. 

I think I’m going to take over this blog and get into the habit of writing every day. I love to write. I’ve written a novel. I teach writing. I love to read and read and read. So I’m going to write using these handy prompts a few times a week and then write more about permaculture principles and how they apply to how we parent our children or, in some cases, how we could parent our children a little bit better and more intentionally than how we do right now. When I began studying permaculture I realized that much of what I’ve done as a parent, and as a person too, has always gone along with the principles of permaculture.

I’m also going to apply to begin earning my EdD in transformational leadership. My intent is to focus on applying the permaculture principles (yes, again) to educational institutional change. 

So, this blog has a newer look to it and I may change and tweak it some more before the sun’s first light has even come up over the mountains. 

Happily Ever After

Earthship garden

“And they lived happily ever after.” Think about this line for a few minutes. Are you living happily ever after? If not, what will it take for you to get there? (prompt from DailyPost)

We started this blog with high expectations but, as always, life gets in the way. Winter is hurrying into spring in a series of five minute jumps of light; the sunlight was just coming up over the mountains as I made my journey into school this morning. The air was warm this morning when I left the house (34F?!?), albeit a little later than usual because I slept until 6 A.M. instead of visiting the gym.

I’ve been daydreaming lately about our permaculture plans for our yard – at some point during spring break I’ll need to finish getting them on paper. What I’ve learned from studying permaculture though is that there is no happily ever after. You start from where you are and then make slow, gradual progress toward your goal, adjusting and readjusting as you go. You may be progressing happily, but without reflection and assessment it won’t be an “ever after” situation. That goes for this blog as well – we can’t keep it up without a plan, without reassessing our goals and figuring out what we want to do with our writing and our lives. We can live happily ever after, but need to remember that a lot of effort and commitment goes into creating that fairy tale.