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

Henry D. Thoreau

 

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Tuesday
Jul172018

The Summer Solstice is Past

The year is more than half over. The longest day has come and gone. For a time even here in southern Manitoba we do not technically have night, only astronomical twilight from June 2 to July 11. My sleep pattern has me up at least once every night, so I go outside and look at the sky. I have certainly noticed that it did not get very dark in the early summer. Some of that is due to light pollution from Winnipeg and Steinbach.

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Tuesday
Jul102018

Parking

The question of downtown parking in Steinbach has come up again, as it does periodically. The focus of the discussion is, how many ​free parking ​spaces are needed. An assumption basic to this discussion is that we all should be able to park freely and conveniently close to our destination at any time. In this article I want to challenge the validity of this assumption.

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Tuesday
Jul032018

Struvite? What's that?

Christoph Stein explaining the functioning of the struvite precipitation reactor (5161774682)Last week I had the good fortune of joining an enthusiastic group of agronomists and farmers on a small farmyard near Libau, just off Hwy 59 north east of Winnipeg. Anyone knowing anything about farming and Manitoba, knows that Libau is not known as a farming area. So why were we there?

Our common concern was sustainable food production, in this case concerns about P – phosphorous.

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Tuesday
Jun262018

Lasagna in the Garden: A Permaculture Technique

When we decided to move to the country, we became interested in the gardening philosophy of permaculture. Permaculture is focused on creating a system were living and nonliving parts of the garden work together to create a thriving mini-ecosystem. We were focused on improving the quality of our soil and reducing the amount of weeds. If you have healthy soil that has a fungi/bacteria ratio that favors the type of plants you want to grow, your desired plants will thrive and the weeds will fail.

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Tuesday
Jun192018

Permaculture

This week I'd like to write about a concept that has had a strong influence on me since I first heard of it some ten years ago. Permaculture is a system of agricultural design developed by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the 1980's, in response to concerns they had about the unsustainable and unsatisfactory direction they saw society moving. Their approach was to imagine a framework of ethics, principles and methods that would enable the creation of agricultural systems which last forever, while sustaining a maximum amount of human and non-human life - hence the name "Permaculture" (permanent agriculture).

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