We’re excited to announce that we’ll be installing solar panels at the institute this fall. While this has been in the long-term plans for some time, we have been prioritizing things that are more do-it-yourself, such as building solar hot water panels and gardening. In the LTI tradition, though, we’ll be doing as much of … More The Institute is Getting Solar Panels – Part I: System Design
In southwestern Wisconsin, this spring was wet and cool, while midsummer was hot and dry. What this meant to the backyard gardener or microfarmer was a slow start to the growing season. Once fruits and vegetables started to grow, recent dry weather quickly wilted plants. When rain did come, storms dropped a large amount of … More Rainwater Catchment Systems — From Contributor Eric McGlynn
Last year we carried out a potato study with market gardeners. We found that growing potatoes on the surface was a significant savings in labor with only a small sacrifice in yield by area (read more complete results here). One of our participants, the Parisi Family Farm, decided to scale this planting method up. We … More Potato Study Update — Parisi Family Farm
The news is full of talk of recession. The dreaded inverted yield curve (short-term bonds have higher yields than long-term ones — the inverse of the typical state) has occurred less than two years before every recession since 1955 (and the one time it happened without a recession following was the economic slowdown of the … More Low-Tech Recession?
The hour-per-day gardening project is through mid-summer. Daily temps have come down to the mid-80°Fs, and regular rain is back. The weeds seem to be winning the battle, even in the plot where I used cardboard sheet mulch. My theory is that the wet spring rotted the cardboard quickly and then the weeds were able … More Hour-Per-Day Gardening Continues
A few years ago, Why Did Ancient Civilizations Fail? identified many of the same problems outlined in the recent UN report on our diet and its climate effects. What follows is a brief excerpt from the book. A sustainable food system can be built on the three principles laid out at the beginning of this … More A More Sustainable Food System — UN Report
Are you feeling overwhelmed by weeds this season? Have I got the garden tour for you to know you’re not alone. We’ll be hosting a group from the Sustainable Gardening Club out of Madison this Sunday at 3:00 p.m. You’re welcome to stop by. Stops on the Tour We’ll hit the highlights of the garden … More Garden Tour, Sunday, August 11, 3 p.m.
We’re likely to get solar panels this fall, so I’ve begun to evaluate the site where the panels will go. Most of our sunny grounds are given over to the garden, greenhouse, and our solar hot water system. The south side of our garage, though is perfect. What I wasn’t sure of, though, was which … More Evaluating Our Solar Site
Most English speakers know the terms kibbutz (Israeli communal agricultural communities) and commune (now called intentional communities) as groups of people living together and sharing their property, work, land, and buildings to greater or lessor extents. One reason that I think these communities didn’t catch on in the US is the strong ethos of individual … More Moshav: A Cooperative Agricultural Community