Adapting in Place

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I was recently re-reading Mary Pipher’s excellent book from a decade ago _The Middle of Everywhere: Helping Refugees Enter the American Community_.  The book is in large part stories of refugees and a guide to helping them navigate their new world – encouraging members of the community to act as “cultural brokers” and guides to…

A Woman, a Plan, a Canard…

I usually allow my honorary older brother, John Michael Greer to debunk the idea of the apocalypse, Mayan and otherwise.  He’s even written a (very funny and, as usual, brilliant) book about it, and he’s the master of historical examples in which everyone was pretty sure the world was going to end and it didn’t.  While…

That would have been the title of _Making Home_ except it is way, way too wordy, but that’s the gist of my book – that we don’t have a choice but to change our way of life, so we might as well find the best possible way to do it.    The long version (and…

Becoming One of “Them”

A friend of mine who volunteered at a shelter in New York City told me this story over Thanksgiving.  The shelter she worked in responded to the range of people affected by the crisis.  Many of them, as always in a crisis, were those who were already struggling and marginalized – illegal immigrants afraid to…

Seussian Paradigm Shift

I wrote this for Dr, Seuss’s 105th birthday, and thought it was worth posting (a bit belatedly) for his 108th. I once read an incredibly entertaining literary critical analysis of _The Cat in the Hat_ which began from the premise that all the action in TCITH is an attempt to fill up the overwhelming absence…

The Weird Season

On January 1, it was 48 degrees on my farm. My sons were at the playground, dressed in sweatshirts and jeans, rather than winter coats and mittens. Their ice skates had yet to be used this year. Their sleds haven’t even come out of the garage. Walking out in the warm weather among the goats,…

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…

My friend Alice hosted an urban permaculture class at her house a few years ago. She lives in an brownstone in a downtown neighborhood of Albany with her husband and two young kids, and the occasional housemate. Two permaculture design teachers and a host of enthusiastic students came together to create several designs for how…

There are ten children in my house, but six of them are phantoms. No, we haven’t gotten a foster placement or heard anything new since the two weeks in August when we were asked to take two separate groups of five kids each. Both of those placements fell through, and there has been nothing since,…

Aaron Newton and I are starting out our first-ever Advanced Adapting-in-Place class, for people who have taken our previous course or who have been on the adaptation journey for a while. If you’d like to join us there are still spots available and world enough and time to join, so please email me at jewishfarmer@gmail.com.…