“One Hour One Life”, Soil Depletion, and the Development of Agriculture

“One Hour One Life”, Soil Depletion, and the Development of Agriculture

*This article was written for One Hour One Life version 76. Tech and balance updates are released weekly. Introduction: Building Society One Life at a Time I recently have gotten really into an independent computer game titled “One Hour One Life” after reading a Vice article about the unique, experimental game. One Hour One Life is a game of survival and parenting. At it’s heart, it is a multiplayer crafting game which focuses on building a civilization. The unique feature…

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Our Trip to the Tulip Fields

Our Trip to the Tulip Fields

Ever since I became involved with my lovely wife, who is from Bellingham, we have meant to take a trip to western Washington that coincides with the famous tulip blooms. Unfortunately, life has consistently gotten in the way, and all of our trips have had to be at the time of other events. Finally, this year, we were able to go in the spring, if unfortunately early into the bloom. My theory was that this was as late in the…

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Books: The One-Straw Revolution

Books: The One-Straw Revolution

“I believe that a revolution can begin from this one strand of straw. Seen at a glance, this rice straw may appear light and insignificant. Hardly anyone would believe that it could start a revolution. But I have come to realize the weight and power of this straw. For me, this revolution is very real.” – Masanobu Fukuoka “The One-Straw Revolution” by Masanobu Fukuoka The One-Straw Revolution is one of the foundational texts of the permaculture movement. The author, Masanobu…

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William Cobbett Believed in Unschooling

William Cobbett Believed in Unschooling

Near the end of the delightful collection “Cobbett’s Country Book” there is a section about the importance of rural sports. By this he mostly means hunting, especially with dogs. (Though he goes into detail about a game called “Singlestick” where two men beat each other with sticks until one draws blood on the head that runs down an inch.) Cobbett describes his reason for unschooling his kids, having determined they could and would learn on their own sheerly out of…

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Musings on a Short Winter

Musings on a Short Winter

I know, I know, it’s too early to call it. There will certainly be much more bad weather. But it seems to me that the chances for a severe Winter are past. We had our cold snap in December and since then this is the first day with real snow on the ground in 10 or so days, and it’s getting rained off right away. As the days get longer, the chances for consistent cold weather go down, and I…

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The Reforestation of the West

The Reforestation of the West

We rarely hear positive stories about the environment, despite the fact that there have been promising improvements in some areas. One of these areas is in the forestation of the wealthy Western nations. Forests are actually increasing across the West! The story of mankind since the neolithic revolution has been one of deforestation. Throughout history people have practiced “slash-and-burn” agriculture, clearing forests and plowing the organic matter into the soil. As humanity has expanded the forests have continued to retract,…

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The Evils of Foreign Food “Aid”

The Evils of Foreign Food “Aid”

Various types of foreign “aid” have become a major part of the United States government foreign policy. It is seen as a way to project “soft power” and show global “leadership.” While relief in the immediate aftermath of a disaster is a somewhat different matter, the principle of persistent foreign “aid” is a tool of neo-imperialism which keeps countries perpetually weak, unstable, and dependent on Western powers. Foreign aid may be unpopular among the right wing, but it maintains broad…

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William Cobbett Needs Farm Help

William Cobbett Needs Farm Help

  They say good help is hard to find these days, and for a man of discriminating requirements it was also hard in the early 19th century. I became aware of the great 19th century journalist, politician, and agrarian William Cobbett last year while reading Farming for Self-Sufficiency, which used his amusing quotes as the epitaph for almost every chapter. Cobbett was an early advocate of going back to the land, and even at the beginning of the 19th century…

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“Soil Power!” in the New York Times

“Soil Power!” in the New York Times

I was delighted to see that the New York Times published an op-ed about the importance of regenerative agriculture, titled “Soil Power: The Dirty Way to a Green Planet” by Jacques Leslie. Overall, it provides a well reasoned, informative, and accessible piece directed at the general public. There has been a substantial amount of concern about man-made climate change for some time. As an everything skeptic, I have always thought parts of the story did not make sense and it seemed…

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Books: “The Tulip” By Anna Pavord

Books: “The Tulip” By Anna Pavord

“I suppose there must be one or two people in the world who choose to not like tulips, but such an aberration is scarcely credible.” – Anna Pavord The Tulip: The Story of a Flower that has Made Men Mad – By Anna Pavord, 1999. The allure of the tulip is well known. One of the earliest and the most impressive of the Spring bulbs, tulips have been planted the world over in home gardens, palaces, and magnificent public parks. Tulips are beloved…

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