Casaubon's Book

Archives for October, 2011

The first “seed” catalogs of the year are always the tree catalogs, and now is a good time to begin siting and planning for next year’s tree stock. We try to add trees to our home orchard every single year, sometimes just a couple, sometimes more. Now with 27 acres, it may seem that our…

Oil, Food, Riots, Instability

Last year at the 2010 ASPO conference (and over the years at other places) I’ve highlighted the connection between oil prices and food prices – and the ways that our increasingly tightly tied oil and food systems unravel together. If you missed these graphs last week, they’ll give you the beginnings of the picture, but…

Jim Kunstler On Occupy Everything

It was interesting to me that my comments that protesting the economy without also including elements of economic protest were taken to mean “I think Occupy Wall Street is bad.” I still think that to be genuinely effective, protests of capitalism have to take into account what will replace it – and our own implication…

Perhaps the first widely read piece I wrote was entitled “Peak Oil is a Women’s Issue” and focused on the ways that an energy decline might affect women. At the time it was written (the earliest version appeared in 2004) the peak oil movement was largely a group of men, mostly geologists, oil men, a…

As the seasons change towards chilly days, a young (kinda, if you look at her sideways) woman’s fancy turns to thoughts of thrumming. Coziness abounds. What the heck is a thrum? Well, it is knitting technique that mixes little bits of cozy warm fleece into your knitting to create the warmest possible mittens. Check out…

Growing Up With Science…and Ethics

A few months ago, in practice for his first standardized testing (my three younger sons are homeschooled), Simon, my 9 year old (then in his last few months of fourth grade) took the New York State Regents 5th grade science exam from the previous year. He aced it. Actually, as long as Simon was taking…

Making Raised Beds on a Farm Scale

I don’t live on a mountainside, but my town isn’t called one of the “Hilltowns” for nothing, and Sepp Holzer’s permaculture designs, set in a cold, steep place with stripped soil (my soil was literally stripped when the farm was a sod farm in the 1980s) comes closer to what my farm requires than almost…

Sheet Mulching

Kate at “Living the Frugal Life” has a great post on the merits and techniques of sheet mulching in the garden. Since this has been the key to soil improvement (and we have dreadful soil) in our garden, I wanted to highlight it. Significant soil improvement is one of them. This isn’t exactly surprising; it’s…

From the UN FAO, we can see that world food prices remain extremely high. We also, I think, when we conjoin this with oil prices can see that there is at least a significant correlation. So much of what has been done in agriculture over the last 75 years has served to tie oil and…

Seeing What You Have Accomplished

Right before each Rosh Hashana, I make a list that has two parts. The first one is a list of everything I wanted to accomplish that I have accomplished this past year. It includes small things and large. Small things like tuning the piano, regasketing the stove doors, expanding goat fence, rearranging the pantry and…