Does Comfrey Really Improve Soil?

Submitted by Ben Stallings on Mon, 03/17/2014 - 20:18

Comfrey (Symphytum spp.) has a great reputation as a "dynamic accumulator" of soil nutrients, but there's precious little published evidence of this fact.  I decided to do my part to change that, with the help of some before-and-after soil tests.

Read the whole story with comments at Permaculture News, or just the article and my updates below.

Picking up the Gauntlet

Submitted by Ben Stallings on Wed, 02/19/2014 - 20:08

(I originally wrote this article as a submission to PermacultureNews.org, but decided it would be better as a blog.)

I don't know about you, but I was really shaken by Peter Harper's insightful critique of permaculture last summer, “Permaculture: The Big Rock Candy Mountain.” It has caused me to rethink the way I approach my urban farm, at least for the coming year. Let me explain.

There and Back Again: A Pragmatic Guide to Internet Privacy

Submitted by Ben Stallings on Mon, 09/16/2013 - 19:48

[updated July 2017]

A number of friends and colleagues have asked me recently about what I would recommend doing to regain some Internet privacy, given my background in Web development and technical support.  The guide at PRISM-BREAK is authoritative but too technical for most people to follow.  In recent weeks I've gone down the proverbial "rabbit hole" to see how secure I could make my Internet experience and then dialed the paranoia way back to a more practical, useful level.  Here's what I've found.

2013 Video Tours

Submitted by Ben Stallings on Sun, 09/08/2013 - 13:36

Below is a series of videos we recorded originally to try to promote a fundraising campaign to go to Cuba for the International Permaculture Conference and Convergence (IPCC).  In the end we did not reach our fundraising goal, but the videos are still here for your enjoyment!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lDsRk37Oduw&list=PL7TLfy2vmpNCgksIzpegD…

Notes on King Solar presentation, 4/13/2013

Submitted by Ben Stallings on Sun, 04/14/2013 - 19:13

Update!  King Solar has offered us the following group purchasing offer: if we order kits containing 8 or more solar panel modules in one shipment, we will get them for just $695 per panel module, a discount of more than 6% from the regular price.  (Each module includes the panel, a micro-inverter, mounting hardware, and cable.)  Please let me know if you are interested in going in together on this deal.  Read on for details.