Nematodes

The thing about nematodes, and most members of the soil-food web, is that they have many beneficial aspects, as well as some nasty or yucky ones. Nematodes mineralize soil. They do this in various ways, but primarily by eating and digesting fungus and bacteria which contain nitrogen, and other minerals. The nematodes waste products make the minerals available to plants. There are over 20,0000 species of known nematodes. Some can be seen with the naked eye. They look like a human hair that has … Read full article >>

Why Garden?

Cauliflower Mama Love!

There are so many compelling reasons, that fuel the massive gardening movement worldwide: Food for the table, food security, access to organic food, supporting biodiversity, saving & exchanging seed, good exercise, connection with nature. Vandana Shiva refers to seed saving as “the most important revolutionary act of our time”.

For us, these are all good reasons. It is a practice for us to make our choices with awareness of our connection … Read full article >>

Coming up! Workshops in Vilcabamba: Gardening & Natural Building

GARDENING IN VILCABAMBA: All over the world, more people are getting into gardening than ever before. This class will speak to beginners and experienced gardeners alike. Bring your hat and gloves, as hands-on learning is our thing. We’ll put on our Permaculture lens to see the garden as a whole living Being, and provide what it needs for outrageous abundance, with less work than you can imagine. Topics will include, but not limited to: water management, slope stabilization & how to terrace; methods for … Read full article >>

Article on Plant Intelligence by Michael Pollan, plus Zia’s comments

This is a deep and thought-provoking article about plant intelligence, written by Michael Pollan, author of “Omnivore’s Delimma”, and others.

I think it elegantly exposes some of the limitations of science (without actually coming out against anything), yet also some of the benefits of genuinely rigorous scientific research.

My question is: Michael, how about including a segment about the indigenous perspective on plant intelligence? The perspective that does not question, even for a second, that of course plants are intelligent, and can also provide … Read full article >>

Further involvement with our work in Ecuador

There are three possibilities for further involvement with our projects in Ecuador. A brief description follows. Please write if you are seriously interested. ~~Cabana Resident Interns/Partners–Our second Earthbag structure ever, the Rasta Muffin Hut is now available to be cared for, loved up and lived in. We envision a strong and informed young couple joining our endeavors, shortly. The Cabana & all our garden veggies you can eat in exchange for $200./mo & and 20 hrs/week work in the gardens x two people. One … Read full article >>

There Is Power in Remembering Ancestral Wisdom

by Bill Pfeiffer Our times, the Age of Separation could also be called the Age of Forgetting. Modern humans have severe amnesia; we have forgotten who we are in relation to everything else. Martin Prechtel, the maverick cultural historian and artist, calls it “the amnesia of modernity” and says our task is a “Holy Remembrance [which has been] forced to survive homeless under bridges.” In truth, each one of us is vertically connected to everything through the present moment, and horizontally connected through time … Read full article >>

Where are we going together?

Zia’s letter to the Vilcabamba “nuevo residente” community: In planning the Permaculture Design Course, I have had the opportunity to talk to a lot of people about their understanding of where we are going together. Also, their take on what Permaculture is, or their contribution to and their relationship to sustainable lifestyle here in this beautiful valley we have chosen to call home.

Just to clarify a little.. Permaculture is not… A garden with a pretty shape, be it sacred geometry or not, that … Read full article >>

EC move? Q & A

Here is some information about our experience in Vilcabamba, Ecuador, for those considering moving here. We are asked these things alot, so here are some basics. For more information, I suggest becoming a member of the Cuenca based website, Gringo Tree.You can ask questions on that site, and get answers.  If you are curious about the Vilcabamba counter-culture, become a member of the FaceBook page, Vilcabamba Boletin.

1.Owning land and gaining legal status. It is possible to own land outright. We bought land when … Read full article >>

Medicinal Herbs

Blackberry, leaves

Blackberry Rubus, many varieties from around the world Rubus fruticosus (a common European variety) Rubus villosus (a common American variety)

Brief

Astringent, tonic, helps treat wounds, burns, mouth sores, sore throat, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, menstrual cramps

Medicinal Properties

There are said to be at least 40 European varieties of Rubus and numerous American varieties. These include many species of blackberry, raspberries, dew berries, cloud berries and thimble berries. Most people are familiar … Read full article >>