Living and thriving through regenerative practices and a sustainable worldview.

Archive for October, 2012

Halloween Necromancy!

It’s that time of year again when the moon visits longer, the morning comes slowly, and the wind brings a chill to the earth.
The time when certain folks possessing knowledge of the old ways, gather together the remnants of the dead in order to slowly transform them into new life through ancient alchemical practice.

No, I’m not talking about All Hallow’s Eve or some sinister ritual…  I’m talking about fall composting!

I ran across a great article on that gives a nice bunch of autumn composting tips and figured I’d share.

For those who don’t have a yard, or access to leaves, fear not!
You can still compost, as long as you have enough heat to keep some tiny helpers happy.  I’m talking worm composting, also known as vermicompost.

What the heck is worm composting? Check out this great link that gives a nice run-down on the “ins and outs” of the whole shebang.


For those of you who just aren’t into the idea of sharing your home with some creepy crawlies, there’s also bokashi composting.
Although to be truthful, bokashi is more of a fermentation process than composting.


It’s got a tiny space footprint, which makes it great for apartment dwellers, and has been used extensively in Japan for some time.  Bokashi uses “effective micro-organisms” to break down organic material, including a lot of things you CAN’T put in a worm bin or compost heap.  It’s fast, odorless,  and convenient.

Here’s some more information on bokashi.

Keep in mind that there are a LOT of bokashi products out there, from bins to EMs, but you can make any of them at home yourself.

Here’s a good link on making your own bokashi “EM” powder mix.
And here’s a link to Make Your Own Bokashi Bucket

Word of the day: "Balanoculture"

So, what the heck is “Balanoculture“, you ask? Apparently it’s just a fancy-schmancy word for the process and practice of eating acorns.

It’s already made the rounds a LONG time ago in Greece, Arcadia and even North America when Native Americans were still able to live according to their indigenous cultural practices. And now, once again, as America is jumping on the trendy foody/self-sufficiency bandwagon by casually slinging around the term “Balanoculture” in certain circles.

But lucky for you, I’m on the blunt edge of such fancy-schmancy-ness, and have found a great tutorial on how to make your own acorn flour.

Here it is!



Transitioning through the seasons and pattern recognition

This post is chock-full of stuff, so be forewarned!

I don’t know about you, but this year I’ve been a little “ahead” of the seasons. Maybe it’s the crazy weather, or maybe it’s just the “hurry-up” pace of work, life, technology, etc.
Whatever the reason, I found myself fantasizing about Halloween and apple cider early last month, and although my kale hasn’t even fully invaded my garden yet, I am now looking forward to curling up in layers of blankets and socks, and hibernating with a cup of hot cocoa as snow falls silently outside.
Perhaps I just need a good crisp day of hiking in the autumn foliage to set me right.
With that said, it seems serendipity stuck her foot out and I tripped over this wonderful diagram of the Seasons of Transition.
(click the image to view a larger version)

Diagram of Seasons

Diagram of Seasons

Diagram of Seasons

This diagram actually reminds me a LOT of the 8 Shields model, which allows you to “map many of the phases and relationships occurring in nature, both on a grand scale, and also within the nuances of human learning and culture.”

This includes phases of the day, physical needs, seasons, lifespan, etc. It is an EXCELLENT and very flexible tool for permaculturists who want to map patterns in nature, behavior, and really, just about anything.





The Eight Shields Model:

I’ve used it myself as a guide for mapping the relationships between generational tendencies and Euro-American history, based on the work of Howe & Strauss.  I’ve also used it as an attempt to map our own sentient thought processes and behavior based on the work of David Bohm.
So, as you can tell from the applications, this model is a pretty powerful, useful tool.

8 Handshakes

8 Handshakes

Pattern recognition is a VERY important skill in itself, and there have been tons of really great articles written on its uses in self-sufficiency, the economy, etc.

I would also like to take a moment here to give credit where credit is due. It is my educated guess that all of these models are probably derivative of the Native American use of the “Four Directions”, or “Medicine Wheel”:

Other ancient indigenous cultures used similar models:

Medicine Wheel

Medicine Wheel

YungDrung Bon

YungDrung Bon