Broken Glass Gardens an Introduction

This is a short introduction video to a little patch I’m trying to put some of my theoretical knowledge into practice. I call it Broken Glass Gardens and it is a shady clay hillside at my parent’s house. Enjoy the video and visit my YouTube page to see more.

Permaculture Core Ethics

The three guiding core ethics of permaculture are simple (this is some of the lovie dovie stuff):

  1. Care of People
  2. Care of the Earth
  3. Fair Share

Care of People

Care of people starts with care of one’s self, extends to our immediate friends and family, on to our community, and then to all the inhabitants of Earth. It’s a really simple concept but it is important that it isn’t over looked. We should always first account for our own self interest and then the interests of others.

Care of the Earth

Care of the Earth means keeping in mind the health of the soil, flora, and fauna of the natural environment. This principle helps us to think about how our actions affect not only us but the health of all other beings and creatures around us.

Fair Share

Fair Share means to limit consumption and freely sharing any surplus. So don’t take more than you need and if you have more than you need give it away. When I think of this I think of potluck dinners. It’s easy to overfill your plate when there is so much good food and the reason there is so much good food is that everyone brings something to share.

Pretty simple, pretty straightforward. These are the 3 Permaculture Core Ethics to keep in mind as you brainstorm and design.

Football is back!

This weekend was the opening weekend for college football! I’ve always enjoyed sports and college football is one of the best out there. I played basketball, football, and ran track in high school. I thought about writing for the school paper in college but it went defunct before I had my chance. I was able to discover a great outlet to scratch that sports writing itch. It was Wikipedia.

I’m a huge Georgia Tech fan and I wrote game summaries for most the games in the 2010 season and I plan to do the same for this season.

I was happy to see that Tech passed the ball some in and was glad we won even if the team we played wasn’t great. I think our defense could have been much better thought. I was surprised by how well UGA played against Boise State. I was really expecting the it to be a blow out. I do think that UGA was vastly out coached and it seems to be time to strongly considered mixing up the staff.

I’ve been a registered Wikipedian for over 2 years and made over a 1,000 edits. It’s easy to do and can be really fun if you find the right topic. I plan on doing some posts and possibly tutorial videos on how to edit Wikipedia.

And just a few thoughts on jerseys: I thought Boise’s helmets were cool, I hated everything about UGA’s uniforms, and even though Maryland’s uniforms were ugly I kinda liked them.

My Top Five Favorite Keyboard Shortcuts

I read an article that was mainly on computer literacy and it got me thinking about keyboard shortcuts. I’ve picked up lots of cool shortcuts that are universal across all programs and platform. Shortcuts are amazing time-saving tools. It’s a shame they aren’t taught more often. Some programs even let you define your own shortcuts.

So here is My Top Five Favorite Keyboard Shortcuts (in no particular order):

    1. Select All, Cut, Copy, and Paste (this might be cheating having them all together but I make the rules): respectively ctrl+ a, ctrl+c, ctrl+x, and ctrl+v.
    2. Find: ctrl+f

Here is where it gets good.

  1. New Tab, Cycle tabs, Cycle programs, Close tabs. These are less well-known but say you are in your favorite web browser and want a new tab: ctrl+t. Now that you have 2 tabs you want to switch back and forth: ctrl+tab will go forward and ctrl+shift+tab goes backwards. Now you want to flip to iTunes for some jams: alt+tab and alt+shift+tab. And finally to close a tab ctrl+w.
  2. These are some of my favorites: select 1 character at a time, select 1 line at the time, select where your mouse clicks.These might actually need video explanations. Does anyone know how to set up a slick split screen video? Get in touch with me.

    First off, selecting with a mouse click. Where ever your cursor happens to be if you hold down shift and then click at another place everything between your cursor and the click will be selected.

    If you continue to hold shift and use the left and right arrow keys a single character will be selected.

    Holding shift and using the up and down arrow key will select an entire line.

    Extremely nice when used with copy, cut, and paste. The keyboard is so much faster and accurate than the mouse.

  3. And lastly some navigation. This will differ from program to program but most of them are setup this way. To reach the end of line hit the end key. To reach the beginning of line hit the home key. To reach the end of a whole document use ctrl+end and to reach the top use ctrl+home.

Inspired by: Why Don’t We Teach Kids How to Use CTRL+F? – Education – GOOD.

How to subscribe to updates: RSS feed or email updates

I’ve tried to make it really easy to subscribe and follow updates from this blog. In the sidebar there are options to subscribe by to the RSS feed or the email. I thought it might be useful to have a simple explanation for each. Email is simple enough just enter your email address in the form and each week an email will be delivered to your inbox with that week’s blog posts.
RSS feeds aren’t as ubiquitous as RSS is yet so I’ll explain them a little more in depth. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and is a common way to share blog posts easily on the web. Most blogs you visit will have some version of the orange icon featured here. So that’s the basics but what does any of that to mean to someone.

So for the average person to use RSS feeds they need 2 things: a feed reader and a feed to read. There are several feed readers, I personally use Google Reader Feedly. To find the feed all you have to do is find the orange logo on a blog. Then add that link into your reader. Google made a video explaining the whole process in plain English .

And since you know how now don’t forget to subscribe to my updates.

Permaculture Principle #1 – Observe and Interact

Permaculture Principle #1 – Observe and Interact

As with all the principles #1 is simple. Sit, watch, and play with. The best way to learn about our surroundings is to watch closely. This applies to things growing in a forest, to watching shoppers at a mall, and also to just about any other thing that is watchable. You can learn a lot just by watching closely.

Not sure what a plant is, visit it once a week or at different times of day and note the changes. Some plants only flower at night, others only when it is a certain temperature, or maybe only after a heavy down pour. Plants can also change very quickly, sprouting up and growing quickly when ideal growing conditions are met.

Observing can also teach you about what plants grow well together, what type of soil conditions you have, what the layout of the land is, where the water flows from the down spout, what spots are sunny or shading, where trees will lay down free mulch, where wind will blow leaves away.

Interacting takes observation to the next level. Notice a plant growing well in one spot and have a location with similar features. Interact by transplanting a few of those plants and observing what happens. You’ll learn about that plant and also the conditions of both the original plot and the new location. Observing and interacting leads us straight into the 2nd principle, Catch and Store Energy.

Introduction to Permaculture

Permaculture is a design system that can be used to design anything, but is mainly used to layout and plan farms and gardens in a highly evolved ecological way. There are many great resources on the internet about permaculture but many contain a lot of fluff and lovie dovie type stuff. I am going to do a series of articles describing key ideas, concepts, people, and practical applications of principles.

History

Permaculture was developed in Australia by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren in the 1970s. Permaculture is a portmanteau of permanent agriculture, and permanent culture. The whole idea is to try to create systems that don’t deplinish resources but actually add value back into the system. Below are a few lists of things I will write articles about.

Ideas

  • Core Ethics (set of 3)
  • Design Principles (set of 12)
  • Designing from Patterns (herb spiral, keyhole beds, sheet mulching)
  • Zones
  • Layering
  • Guilds
  • Edge

People

  • David Holmgren
  • Bill Mollison
  • Sepp Holzer
  • Geoff Lawton