Moving the woods – understory

At the back of our yard, we have the “woods”.  When Charlotte and Josephine (our girls) were small, these were a mysterious place, in which grew the “Witch Tree” with a twisted, hollow trunk, and where one might find treasures, such as an ancient china figurine of a man. Continue reading “Moving the woods – understory”

Applied Permaculture Lesson

One of the things I am really excited about this Spring is another class  – Applied Permaculture with David Homa near Portland Maine.  This course is eight Saturdays, once a month, going out to sites and doing real work – pruning, grafting, planting, soil building – all the practical skills one needs for building and maintaining a food forest. Continue reading “Applied Permaculture Lesson”

Some Real Work

On Saturday, we started our first Real Work in the food forest to be: taking down lots of saplings and brush.  We don’t like to take down trees and bushes, but we also want to create the space for our intentional plants, ones that are really good at producing food for us or for wildlife, or super providers for the soil in our little micro-ecosystem.  It was exciting to get outside and use some muscle power to move a lot of stuff around. Continue reading “Some Real Work”

Scrum board

The scrum board is a tool to help a team go through a project efficiently and effectively, with flexibility, while having fun.  Often, in projects, people make a huge project spreadsheet with rows of tasks, organized in order, and time, in weeks or days, going across the top. They fill in the week or days for each task, one following the other, so you get this nice cascade of going down your task list over time. This is called a Gantt chart.  The problem is it never works out as planned. Continue reading “Scrum board”

Project Synthesis Document

After we had agreed that we would work together, Mark said the first thing we should do would be create a Synthesis Document with all the jobs and functions that this project will need to fulfill.  This document will help guide the design – because we will be able to look at the design and check off how all the jobs and functions are going to be met. Continue reading “Project Synthesis Document”

Appropriate Technology

The other day, we had a big snowstorm.  It dumped 12 inches (30 cm) of the white stuff, and made everything very beautiful.  Around here, with snow means snow-shoveling.  As the storm eased up, I headed outside, and grabbed our shovel, which consists of a blue curved metal shaft (ergonomic), a blue plastic handle, and a blue plastic blade. Continue reading “Appropriate Technology”

Learning to share – again

When we are very young, our parents and our teachers teach us to share.  Increasingly, modern social sciences tell us that humans are, by and large, naturally inclined to be cooperative and collaborative, so the nudges given to us as preschoolers have fertile ground to work with. Continue reading “Learning to share – again”