Embracing Rot

“By composting, you reduce your carbon and financial footprint; your waste doesn’t have to be transported, nor do you have to buy nutrients in. By embracing rot, you will start to see failure in a new light …”                 ~ Alys Fowler When I first started my vegetable garden, nearly forty years ago, I made […]

Mud Slinging

With sea levels expected to rise 3 to 6 feet by the end of the century, coastal communities are moving fast to construct major shoreline projects to protect themselves. As the size of these projects expands, the primary building materials — dirt and mud — are getting scarce.                                                                                 ~ Lauren Sommer Mud puddles, muddy […]

A Seedy Friend

I met Paul Kilburn at the turn-off into the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant, decommissioned a few years before. Paul and his volunteers had permission to collect native seeds from the buffer zone around the facility that had been created to provide both a security barrier from outside intrusion and physical separation from what was […]

Idle Lands, Idle Hands

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop                                                 ~ Proverbs 16:27  The pandemic seems to have exacerbated a whole raft of social and economic problems. Personally, as a retiree, I find myself limited in the things I normally would do, such as shopping, travel, eating out, visiting friends, and even my volunteer activities. I can’t imagine being […]

Cold Fire

“Mushrooms are one of our biggest allies if we hope to have any chance of healing the earth.”                                                                 ~ Sarah Kuta Humans have changed the planet’s ecosystems, both intentionally and inadvertently. Our very presence requires competition with other species for resources and our successful proliferation compounds that issue. We also perform actions that damage […]

Where You Gonna Grow?

In recent years, scientists have documented countless species shifting their ranges toward the poles, higher into the mountains, and deeper into the seas in response to the changing climate. ~ Sonia Shah As our group of volunteers spread out across the buffer zone of the former nuclear weapons plant, we gathered native grass seeds to […]

Like Legos

“… it was all about refurbishing and reusing existing buildings. Wainright’s meaning is much more sophisticated; we may not keep every building forever, but if they are designed for deconstruction we can keep using all the parts. That’s the way to truly ban demolition.” ~ Lloyd Alter It was a hard lesson for a young […]

Pines in Lines

Once, while studying groundwater contamination at an air base in Florida, I was taken to several old, abandoned landfills to determine which of them should be drilled for testing. One presented a real problem: In the twenty years since it had been closed, the landfill had been planted with pine trees — part of the […]

Seeds of Change

“Okay,” the young student volunteer said, taking a break from collecting native grass seeds, “we’re going to use these to replant all that disturbed ground,” she pointed over to the old nuclear weapons manufacturing plant site, “then global warming will come along and turn it all into a desert. What’s the logic in that?” Several […]

Oh, Poop!

“And every Saturday we work in the yard Pick up the dog doo Hope that it’s hard (woof woof)” ~ Joe Walsh, Ordinary Average Guy A small pond forms where the creek backs up behind a small weir, and the adjacent park is a favorite with the geese. As I walk through with my young […]