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.

Illustrated Audio Tour of our urban farm! (2012)

Submitted by Ben Stallings on Fri, 04/27/2012 - 13:01

 

This tour was recorded Sunday, May 6, 2012 (International Permaculture Day).  It is illustrated with a series of photos, each marked with the time in the recording when it is described.  Click the (i)nfo button to see the timestamps and descriptions; click the right side of each photo to advance to the next.

Photo slideshow

What's the Ideal Shape for a Strawberry Pyramid?

Submitted by Ben Stallings on Fri, 03/16/2012 - 20:12

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.