• teaming with microbes

    What I’m Reading: Teaming With Microbes

    There is a world beneath your feet, or, if you avoid stepping on your garden soil, beneath your hands. Bacteria hide from hungry protozoa in tiny soil pores the protozoa are too large to enter. Fungi trick nematodes by releasing an attractive chemical that draws the nematode near. The fungus then extends a hypa that […]

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  • never out of season

    What I’m Reading: Never Out of Season

    By the 1800’s the hills of Ireland were covered in the green foliage of potato plants. More than 3 million (or ⅖) Irish peasants subsisted almost solely on the potato, namely the lumper potato. Then, in 1846, the fungus-like late blight (Phytophthora infestans), arrived. It spread by air-borne spores from field to field. The potatoes […]

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  • Wild Fermentation

    What I’m Reading: Wild Fermentation

    Fermentation is often compared to ancient alchemy, a mix of science, magic and art. Alchemist viewed base metals, such as lead, as spiritually and physically immature forms of higher metals like gold. It is easy to see the comparison to fermentation. A cabbage has its uses in the kitchen but is sometimes rubbery and bland. […]

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  • What I’m Reading: Insects and Gardens

    We do not see most of the interactions in our gardens: ladybugs and ants wage war, aphids give virgin births and wasps lay their eggs on the backs of caterpillars. When we see evidence of the little creatures carrying out these interactions, a chewed leaf or sickly plant, we are culturally trained to intervene. We bring […]

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  • What I’m Reading: The Urban Homestead

    There is a movement happening in America’s cities. A movement of people who map edible trees in their neighborhoods and eat weeds growing from cracks in the sidewalk. These people can be heard in the tap rooms of microbreweries using words like ‘Araucana’ and ‘Rhode Island Red.’ There are sourdough starters in fridges and worm […]

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  • What I’m Reading: The New Wildcrafted Cuisine

    I met Pascal Baudar at a semi-wild park on the edge of the San Fernando Valley. I was there to learn how to make beer from wild plants. Baudar immediately drew me in with stories of elementary school in Belgium where beer was served at lunchtime. Before making the beer, Baudar took us on a […]

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  • What I’m Reading: The One-Straw Revolution

    You will recognize the similarity in the name, The One-Straw Revolution, and the name of this website. While I take my name from Paul Cezanne’s quote this book has been an influence on my own thinking about nature and agriculture from an early age. Masanobu Fukuoka sees a revolution in one strand of straw just […]

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  • What I’m Reading: Sunset Western Garden Book

    It would be difficult to find a bookshelf that still houses an encyclopedia. But, there is a joy in searching for information without a screen. The New Sunset Western Garden Book should be on the shelf of every gardener in the western United States (that includes Alaska and Hawaii). This curated volume is the must have guide […]

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