Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Introduction to Permaculture Workshop - November 8

The Permaculture Research Institute, Cold Climate presents:
An Introduction to Permaculture


Workshop - Saturday November 8, 2008, 9:00 AM


Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD), 2501 Stevens Ave, 240 College Center, Minneapolis, MN 55404 - MCAD Parking in 3rd Ave Ramp or on Stevens Ave.


Instructors include Bruce Blair, CPD; Daniel Halsey, CPD; Reed Aubin, CPD


Participants will be given supporting materials based on the days presentations. Participants should bring lunch. Snacks and refreshments will be provided at breaks.


$75 Members,
$85 Non-Members,
$150 Workshop Kit (Workshop, Mollison Permaculture Intro Book & PRI Membership) Save $30
Please register on line
Space is limited. Register ASAP. The next workshop will not be until February 2009.

Questions? Contact:

Daniel Halsey, PRI Teachers Guild Coordinator,, 612.720.5001

Monday, October 06, 2008

explaining permaculture

This video, entitled Permaculture: A Quiet Revolution, is a great one for those of us who already love permaculture & for those of us who don't yet know what it is. For the latter, permaculture is a design theory that seeks to create small-scale regenerative systems of agriculture & culture. It is one of the more practical & practiced frameworks for sustainability that exists. This video gives a decent notion of its current scope around the world.

DVDs of this documentary are available from 21st Paradigm. Contact the filmmaker, Vanessa Schulz, at to order.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

homemade cat food recipe

Among the many simple joys of my life, are my two cats - Daphne & Snax. For several years now I've been giving them extra love by making homemade cat food. It's truly amazing how much healthier they became after I started & how much healthier they are compared to other cats the same age.

So I'm finally posting a cat food recipe. I also highly recommend buying the book Natural Health for Dogs & Cats by Richard H. Pitcairn & Susan Hubble Pitcairn. It recently helped me to put a stop to Daphne's recurring urinary tract infections. I kept bringing her to the vet who kept putting her on antibiotics until I learned that this condition in cats is rarely due to bacteria (unlike w/ humans) but due to crystals that form in their urine. I started giving her vitamin C to acidify her urine as the Pitcairns suggest & it instantly went away & hasn't come back. AWESOME!!!

The recipe to be shared & loved widely:

2 C millet (or 6 C cooked) (Grain substitutes: 4 C rolled oats (+ 8 C water = 8 C cooked) or 2 C bulgur (+ 4 C water = 5 C cooked)
2 eggs
2 lbs (4 C) ground turkey or chicken (or lean chuck, lean heart, lean hamburger, liver, giblets, fish or other lean meats)
4 T Healthy Powder (see below)
2 T bonemeal (or 4000 mg calcium or 2 1/4 t eggshell powder)
2 T vegetable oil or butter (or 1 T each)
10,000 IU vitamin A
100-200 IU vitamin E
1 t fresh vegetable with each meal (optional) - my cats like peas, squash, melons
500 mg taurine supplement (optional)

The book's directions: Bring 6 C of water to a boil. Add the millet, cover & simmer 20-30 minutes or until the water is absorbed. You may need to add a bit more water during cooking. When the millet is soft stir in eggs to let them set a bit from the heat. Then mix in the remaining ingredients. Yield: About 11 C. Immediately freeze whatever cannot be eaten in 2-3 days. Daily ration: small = 1/2 - 2/3 C; medium = 3/4 - 1 C; large = 1 - 1 3/4 C.

My method: I always use rolled oats now because Daphne has a very sensitive digestive system but you are encouraged to try different kinds of grains. So I make the oats, then add the eggs & mix them in. Then I mix in everything but the meat first because it's easier to mix well at this point. Then I mix in the meat. I put it in yogurt containers (or something about that size for 2 smallish cats) & freeze all but one at a time.

Healthy Powder

2 C nutritional (torula) yeast
1 C lecithin granules
1/4 C kelp powder
1/4 C bonemeal (or 9000 mg calcium or 5 t eggshell powder)
1000 mg vitamin C (ground) or 1/4 t sodium ascorbate (optional)

Mix all ingredients together & refrigerate. To make eggshell powder, save & wash eggshells. When you have several, bake them for 10 minutes & crush them with a mortar & pestle (maybe a coffee grinder or something would also work??).

I find most of the supplements at the food co-op. If there is something I can't find, I go to an herb/supplement store.

Here's to happy, healthy kitties!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

It's for real, yo!

Seems I've failed to mention that, yes, I did receive my wonderful diploma in the mail this summer! You are now reading the blog of a Master of Arts in Humanities & Leadership with an emphasis in Culture, Ecology & Sustainable Community & a concentration in Ecological Agriculture - a mouthful, I know, but a yummy one! Oh, and I now also have a Permaculture Design Certificate. Proud, proud I am.

So now, all y'all employers out there, get ready for me....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

holy hell... what i've been catching for being a lazy blogger.

Speaking of holy hell, why not consider taking my online class this fall at the Minneapolis College of Art & Design? The class, entitled Sustainability or Else, is a 3-credit second-level introduction to sustainability & is part of MCAD's Sustainable Design Certificate. I'm incredibly excited to make my first official foray into the world of adjunct faculty. The course begins in late august so get your ducks in a row & your application materials in to the college.

While we're on the subject of education, Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden is offering a free Master's-level course online - Introduction to Strategic Sustainable Development. The course is part of the Institute's Master's program in Sustainable Development & features Natural Step Framework founder Karl-Henrik Robert as well as occasional cameos by my personal hero as of late, Manfred Max-Neef. Also offered are two Bachelor's level courses - Intro to Sustainable Engineering & Intro to Sustainability with Social Science Applications. Awesome!

Can I both teach & take an online course in sustainability? We may find out.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Story of Stuff

Don't you wonder...?