Celebrate the first annual International Ragweed Day!

giant ragweed (Ambrosia triffida) photo courtesy of nrca-railroad.comSaturday, June 23, 2012 has been named the first annual International Ragweed Day!  Really!  Did you know there is an International Ragweed Society (IRS), with international conferences and everything?  Ragweed is a big deal!  According to their site, the IRS is only planning to use the day to formulate a 5-year plan to reduce ragweed.  I say, why wait?  It only takes a few hours to pull up all the ragweed in your neighborhood before it blooms and makes us miserable! I've been doing it for the past 3 years on our block.  This year, with an international day proclaimed, why not take this much bigger?

Why not eradicate ragweed from all of Emporia, Kansas?  We could do it!  Or at least make a sizable dent.  What's more, we could use all that wonderful biomass to build sheet mulch gardens in people's yards!  If you live in Emporia, won't you join me on Saturday the 23rd to turn our ragweed from a dangerous health hazard into a beneficial soil amendment?  If you live outside Emporia, won't you consider doing the same thing in your town?

Here are the ways you can help -- just drop me a line at ben [at] interdependentweb.com and let me know what you'd like to do:

Illustrated Audio Tour of our farm!

This tour was recorded Sunday, May 6, 2012 (International Permaculture Day).  It is illustrated below with a series of photos, each marked with the time in the recording when it is described.  Click any thumbnail image to begin the slideshow at that point.

I apologize for the poor quality of the recording. I have done what I can to reduce noise and other distractions.  In the process, the sound of dogs barking has become altered so that they sound rather like they are flying by at high speed.  Please be assured that this is just an illusion.

What's the Ideal Shape for a Strawberry Pyramid?

When I teach intro classes on permaculture design, when we're talking about boundary optimization -- that is, when to maximize the edge and when to minimize it -- one of the questions I like to ask students is along the lines of, "How many strawberry plants, spaced 6" apart, can you fit in 16 square feet and still reach them all easily for harvest?"  The exact numbers are not important; what I'm looking for is the ideal design of a strawberry planter to maximize production in a minimum of space.

Boundary Optimization and other Lessons for Art Therapy

Today we presented a workshop at the American Art Therapy Association's annual conference in Washington, DC.  The slideshow for the presentation was too image-heavy to convert to a Google Doc, so we can't embed it here as a slideshow, but you can view or download a PDF copy.

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