"A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”

Henry D. Thoreau




Blackout Vulnerability

The lead off news story last Sunday evening was the power blackout covering all of Argentina as well as significant parts of Uruguay, Brazil, Paraguay and Chile. Nearly 50 million people were without power. At the time of the news story no one knew when power would be restored. As it turned out, the blackout lasted seven hours. Apparently a transmission system at Yacyretá Dam -- on the Paraná River near Ayolas, Paraguay -- failed "without human intervention," forcing an automatic shutdown.

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The Benefit of Weeds

I was cursing quack grass the other day. I had been on my knees in my garden for what seemed like hours: pulling, twisting, prying, teasing, and inevitably hacking at this invincible perennial. And I thought to myself, “Why bother? Why do I wage this (losing) battle year after blessed year?”

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DIY Homesteader Festival Saturday Aug 10-11

If you haven't heard of the annual DIY Homesteader Festival in Thalburg MB, we think you should check it out. Here's the impressive 2019 workshop lineup:

Permaculture Farm Design, Sourdough Breadmaking, Heating the Homestead, Wool Processing, Natural Building, Canning, Wine Cap Mushroom Beds, Urban Farming, Wild Plant Walk & Basketmaking Harvest, Pastured Broilers, Cheesemaking, Urban Chickens, Hugelkultur Guilds, Beekeeping, Hide Tanning, Tree Tapping, Cast Iron, Fire Cider, Community Indigo Vat Fermented Salsa, Bone Broth & Liver Paté, Flower Farming, Sourdough Bread-Making, Oyster Mushroom Pails, Fermentation, Hempcrete, Raising Alpacas, Natural Dyeing, Humanure Compost Toilets, Pastured Layers, Sheep School, Permabed Design, Permaculture Water Management, Natural Basket-Making, Tree Tapping, Cast Iron, Kombucha, Canning, Blacksmithing, Community Mend-In

One SETI member describes it as "super well organized, interesting and relevant to the reskilling and homesteading community".



We Ate Local for One Year

Last year, we decided to buy only local food. It was an experiment to see whether it was actually feasible to “eat local” for a whole year, and it yielded some interesting results. Let me walk you through our reasons for taking on this challenge.

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A Little Bit of Good News

Finally for a change, here are two little bits of good news on the environmental front. The first one needs a bit of background information: much of modern agriculture requires the addition of tons of nitrogen fertilizer, the manufacture of which consumes massive amounts of CO2-emitting fossil fuels, as opposed to the historical method of using manure.

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