Frozen Niagara Falls, and no-till farming…

Hi, this is Geoff.

Happy February!

Let’s jump right into this week’s Friday Five.

Lost-Found crops? Here’s a snippet of a fascinating article about plants that were once domesticated, then disregarded to the extent that they once again become wild weeds. Permaculture posits that this process can move in the other direction, one that expands diversity in helping to create an abundant future.  “Perhaps the strangest part of this story is the fact that people simply stopped cultivating so many crops that were central to their diets. Imagine what would happen if we decided to abandon wheat to the wilderness. Suddenly, there would be no more baguettes and pastas—not to mention cakes. Sure, we could make delicious breads from corn and tasty noodles from rice or beans. But for many of us, it would feel like an incredible loss of a comforting staple. No doubt, that’s how the loss of knotweed felt to aboriginal Americans, too.” Full article here.

This side up: How’s this for an opening? “After thousands of years of turning the soil upside-down, farmers are finally realizing they’re killing the microorganisms that keep soil alive… Faced with losing the farm, more and more are converting to the ancient “no-till” methods of permaculture.A full detailing of this set of ideas was best articulated by Edward Faulkner’s masterpiece, Plowman’s Folly (perfect 5-star reviews on Amazon). Absolutely worth a read.

And the answer is… Fantastic long-form article whose headline asks, “Can Planet Earth Feed 10 Billion People?” I know what permaculture’s answer is 🙂

Chicken tractors: These well-designed systems are an innovation that has made organic pastured beef or dairy farming more sustainable.  Profitable organic egg production is possible by itself and when partnered with organic grazing then both systems benefit.  The small systems work as mobile chicken tractors. I believe these are one of the best innovations that have improved profitable organic productivity in modern times.

Brrrrrrrr: More on how cold it’s been this year. First, I loved this headline: “It’s So Cold In North America That Niagara Falls Is Frozen, And It Looks Like Something From Narnia.” And the photos definitely don’t disappoint. Second, a great “you think it’s cold where you’re at” reality check from Siberia: “Welcome to Oymyakon, a village where students are expected to attend class till temperatures reach minus -52°C (-62°F). The remote Siberian village is considered to be the coldest permanently inhabited settlement in the world, and it has just plummeted into a -62°C (-80°F) winter, making our daily complaints about the weather sound rather silly.

That’s it for the Friday Five. As always, if you have comment / reactions / a different point of view, please share below.

Cheers, and have a great week,

Your friend,


2018-02-04T12:49:20+00:00Blog|5 Comments