Does sustainable have to be dirty?

I get some variation of this question, or find it lurking between the lines, every time I speak with someone just beginning to explore permaculture and sustainable lifestyle practices. You want us to go back to living on dirt floors and in rags? You want to bring back the hippie movement? You want us to live in dusty, creaky cabins filled to the ceiling … Read More

Skills for self-reliance in communities

Last week I shared a very comprehensive list of recommended homesteading skills from Granny Miller on our resource page. This list got me thinking more deeply about the kinds of skills I have been striving to develop through this venture and the heritage I want to pass on. As Katherine of Granny Miller mentioned in a recent post, “a household that doesn’t provide for its own … Read More

Tropical fish baked with turmeric leaves

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Our turmeric has done so well that we have already had to divide the plant and spread it around the lower garden. Excited about the success, I was researching more ways to make use of the plants and discovered that the gorgeous flowers are edible and the turmeric leaves are great for wrapping and baking fish. So I tried the latter and found it … Read More

Turmeric in the tropical garden

One of my favorite additions to the rooftop garden this year has been turmeric. Here in Sri-Lanka, and most of the region, turmeric (locally kaha) is used to add a warm flavor and rich yellow color to curries. It is also very good for dying fabrics and can create shades from sunshine yellow to burnt orange. Other uses include skin care and medicinal … Read More

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