We live on a tiny suburban lot as well, and our front lawn is sacred ground. Our kids are 10, 9, and 7, and right now, them having a place to play is vastly more important than growing veggies on every inch. Our 20'x20' front lawn gets used by about 10 neighborhood kids every day as a sprinkler park, soccer field, badminton court, popsicle-eating venue, or safe-place-to-recover-when-they-skin-their-knees-riding-scooters.
I follow Paul's guidelines for lawn care , which means no weedkillers or artificial fertilizers, just mowing with my reel mower, adding random organic stuff on it when available to improve the soil (like leaves or leftover potting soil) and a little water during the dry summer. It's probably 50% grass, 45% clover, 5% dandelions and other random stuff.
The other half of our front yard is a garden that's gradually being turned into a mini food-forest understory (too small and shaded by a big maple for any more trees to do well), and I've tried to make it as kid-friendly as possible, with lots of stepping stones, places for kids to plant and dig for worms and rollie-pollies, rocks and stumps and things. My kids do really well with it, but I have had quite a few experiences with neighborhood kids kind of running through pell-mell and stomping on baby plants, just because they don't know what's what. This is one of the main reasons I have not chosen to make the rest of the lawn more edible at this point - I want neighborhood kids to feel welcome here, not have me always asking them to stop trampling the strawberries. I would be insanely stressed out if I had a bunch of plants I really adore and have invested in getting accidentally mauled by my kids' friends.
Maybe you could put some sturdy, edible shrubs on the edges of the lawn area?
As far as ticks go, from what I've read, they mostly like to hang out in tall grasses and bushes, and they have to have a host to drop from in order to be in an area. We've gotten ticks from walking in open, unmowed fields with lots of deer, but we've never had any from a mowed lawn. Your area might be different though.
I stumbled upon your post as I was thinking about this same topic. I have donated to Heifer International in the past, because I thought their programs seemed more sustainable than others that seem to depend on passing out beans, rice, and peanut powder (though I am all for emergency short-term aid, obviously, as long as it's not mistaken for a long-term economic solution). I do wonder if livestock pressure from animals that aren't carefully managed (because I wonder if you're worried about where tomorrow's breakfast is going to come from, are you going to have time to be like, "Oh, I need to think about sustainable livestock management") could be detrimental in the long term, but I hope many communities have the wisdom to avoid those kinds of problems.
So, what's your take on this: recently, some ladies in my social circles have been really into purchasing jewelry, clothing, and little household items from small charities set up for women who are especially vulnerable (many who have come out of sex trafficking and similar industries) and don't have any family support. I really like the idea of supporting a good cause, but I don't know how I feel about buying a beaded necklace I don't need instead of just donating money. I am very much in support of direct micro-loans to entrepreneurs worldwide, but I'm wondering if this type of Fair Trade knick knack selling is sustainable? Or is it worth it for the individuals whose lives are turned around, no matter what the long-term effects are? That sounds very callous, I just don't want to give only with my heart, and not with my head as well.
So, just wondering, Cris, if you've thought any more about this, or if you've discovered any other sustainable charities with long-term solutions?
Thank you for the tip, John. I will certainly try the Territorial seeds. We are farther south and have hotter summers than Portland and Seattle, so I think there's potential for good canning tomatoes. Maybe Territorial also has some more drought-tolerant varieties, since that's our biggest issue during the summer.
Thanks, Erica! That is good food for thought. Starting out (especially as a home gardener, where I don't have a specific cash crop in mind), it feels like everyone is telling you to grow something different. This year, I really wanted to can my own tomatoes, so I focused on that. But, really, mine taste about the same as the ones I buy at the store, and we always prepare them with strong-flavored seasonings anyway, so it might not be worth the caging hassle and long growing season next year. But it was worth a try! Next year I think I'll focus more on fun things for the kids to eat straight out of the garden, and on trying to get a fall garden going.
Eeek, I'm so excited to see that your book is out, Erica...I'm a big fan of your blog. So, this question is coming from a relative newbie who grew up eating absolutely everything from Safeway grocery stores.
If you were just starting out (or if you could go back and redo), what would you focus on growing or producing first? I feel like a lot of people in the like...30 and under crowd grew up cooking Hot Pockets in the microwave and find the thought self-sufficiency to be completely overwhelming. So, if you were going to break it down into baby steps, what would you recommend starting with for people who want to change their lifestyle to be more sustainable?
Joseph, I see what you mean, especially if you take "hunter gatherer diets" literally. I kind of took it to mean "Paleo/Primal diets" as we currently understand them. I know they're not really the same as hunter/gatherer diets, but they style themselves after them, with all of their "Grok on" terminology. So if that's what Andrew Scott was after in his Original Post, then the dots seem much easier to connect. I am continually surprised that there is less cross over between the two camps (Paleo and Permaculture), since they potentially have so much in common.
I'm very interested in this as well, just from a "what should I feed my family" perspective, and would love to hear other people's take on the topic. Thought I should let you know the link to the thread you started a while back doesn't seem to be working.
Thank you, Rebecca! I had no idea there were different types of apricot kernels. Just another example of the hard-earned wisdom of traditional cultures that outsiders can be totally ignorant of! I agree that there are probably many, many factors that influence a society's low cancer rates, and lack of processed foods, low sugar consumption, and plentiful exercise are just as likely as apricot kernel consumption!
What recipe are you using, Julie? My ginger ale recipe from Nourishing Traditions is inoculated with whey and mostly develops lactobacillus bacteria, I believe, not yeast. So if your recipe is similar, it may not contain much yeast at all. The sugar that remains in my recipe, even after fermentation, would probably encourage yeast growth though, if we had a problem with that. I could probably ferment it a bit longer so it would digest more of the sugar if I were concerned about sugar consumption, just like you can do with kombucha.
In general though, I don't see why it would be harmful to consume a different strain of yeast even if you have candida overgrowth (the most common type of yeast overgrowth that I'm aware of). Like eating nutritional yeast doesn't seem like it would have any effect at all on candida. Saying "don't consume yeast or other fungi if you have candida overgrowth" seems to me like saying "don't eat yogurt if you have e. coli poisoning." Just because they are both bacteria doesn't mean they are the same, and just because 2 things are both fugni doesn't mean they are the same creature.
Laetrile, also known as Vitamin B17 or amygdaline, is often associated with Apricot Kernels (the hulled seed), because they are one of the primary natural sources. I know the idea of B17 has been around a long time, but I wonder if this documentary might sway public/medical opinion enough that it will receive more objective consideration as a cancer preventative.
I actually stumbled across this information while reading "Three Cups of Tea," which describes in detail how Apricot Kernels are one of the main sources of fat/protein for many native people groups in the Baltoro Himalayan region of Pakistan. People there eat them like Americans eat peanuts, and apparently after social gatherings, someone has to stay after to sweep up the apricot shells! But when you google "Apricot Kernel," all that comes up are warnings about how dangerous they are because of their cyanide-containing compounds.
It seems that the apricot trees grown by the Balti people are one of the few plants that survive there, so their hardiness makes them seem like an awesome permaculture plant for difficult high-altitude areas.
Does anyone know more about Apricots as a permaculture food source or natural medicine?
Alder Burns wrote:
- A careful look at the exotics common in most ecosystems will reveal that the majority of them are pioneer species, growing in the earlier stages of succession, spreading most aggressively on sites already stripped or otherwise disturbed. Most often they end up gradually replaced by, or cohabiting with natives as the ecosystem matures. There are comparatively few that are aggressive enough to penetrate and overwhelm significant portions of an intact native ecosystem. Control efforts, if they do happen, should focus on these few species.
siu-yu man wrote: meanwhile, the discussion as to why those plants have appeared there in the first place gets lost in the thicket. why multiflora rose? why russian olive? why japanese knotweed? why tree of heaven? what are those plants telling us? aren't they a symptom of a deeper sickness that is going on?
So is poor land management one of the main reasons annoying exotics are able to get established in the first place?
Are you looking for experiences that are rather short-term, that could be completed in one or two class periods?
How about testing water absorption with different materials:
Students receive buckets with drainage holes containing: sand, clay, gravel, compost, and a mixture of the above. Using a known amount of water, students saturate their soil material and see how much water drains out of each bucket. If you can extend the experience into a multi-day project, perhaps you could test again the next day and see if the results change when the soil material has been pre-moistened the day before. Or a "hugel-pot" could be constructed, with old wood/sticks in the bottom, to see how much water it holds. Buckets could also be weighed before and after being saturated, or right after saturation, and then 24 hours later, to see how much moisture retention each material has. Students can chart their results and speculate about the reasons for different results. I could see this being applicable for Environmental Sciences classes (to talk about run-off, watersheds, etc.), Physics, Geology, Geography (how does soil in different world areas react to rain?) Chemistry, etc., or just to teach basic scientific method skills.
If students are able to do long-term experiments (long enough to grow something!), they could begin experimenting with soil conditions. A control plant could be grown with average top soil, and compared to a plant grown with extra high-nitrogen compost, or one with too much carbon. Color, size, flowering and fruiting, and resistance to insects/disease could all be compared.
I haven't sold anything on Amazon, but as a consumer, here are my thoughts:
You're trying to sell $20 playing cards...and honestly, it sounds like many of us on this forum are trying to scrape together a few bucks here and there to buy yarrow seeds and lentils. I read the other day that solar panels never would have gotten off the ground if rich yuppies from wine country hadn't started trecking out to the hippie store in Weed, CA to buy them because they were "green." So if you're truly wanting to infect new minds, I would go in a different direction for customer demographic. I'd target the people who have $20 to blow on playing cards without a second thought. They would buy these because they are beautiful, because they are more unique than the neighbors', because they match the decor in the living room, etc.
Your product is beautiful, but its description on Amazon does not do it justice, nor will it appeal to the average luxury-eco seeking consumer. I visited the Williams-Sonoma website for some ideas on selling points and highly recommend adding this kind of language to your descriptions:
Designed by Pacific Northwest artist Alexander Ojeda, these one-of-a-kind playing cards are fully functional and truly beautiful.
These unique cards would make a beautiful conversation piece in your home, or an inspiring gift for a garden-loving friend.
Each card has its very own hand-drawn description of an important Permaculture concept or personality.
A large percentage of each playing card purchase will directly benefit "Wheaton Laboratories," an experimental eco-village and farm in the Bitterroot mountains of Montana.
These cards are made in the USA, and are Bicycle quality.
These folks will pay $70 for a used gardening hand-fork from Scotland, just because it is used, and from Scotland. I think playing up the beauty and artisan qualities of the cards would go a long way, as would adding them to the gardening category. If people go looking for a unique gift for a friend who loves gardening, these would definitely be a good option, where as if people just want playing cards, why shell out $20 for a description that begins "52 regular playing cards, plus 2 jokers?"
I have to wonder, not to be political in any way, but since the school follows Common Core standards, will they still have time left for "individualized" free learning? I've just heard from various teachers how Common Core can become an all-consuming thing in the classroom.
Just stumbled across it today, and it is fascinating stuff.
This was one of my favorite parts: "The pattern of nutrient traffic showed how “mother trees” were using the network to nourish shaded seedlings, including their offspring—which the trees can apparently recognize as kin—until they’re tall enough to reach the light. And, in a striking example of interspecies coöperation, Simard found that fir trees were using the fungal web to trade nutrients with paper-bark birch trees over the course of the season. The evergreen species will tide over the deciduous one when it has sugars to spare, and then call in the debt later in the season. For the forest community, the value of this coöperative underground economy appears to be better over-all health, more total photosynthesis, and greater resilience in the face of disturbance."
Paul, I thought you might be interested to know that your more famous namesake, from about 2000 years ago, is believed to have used some pretty salty language himself. In particular, one passage that is usually translated, "I wish they would go the whole way and emasculate themselves" would've been interpreted in that culture exactly as we would hear "I wish they would go f*** themselves."
Maybe it is quite telling that the original Paul could not only get away with it, but then have his words canonized. Oh yes, and be beatified as a saint. Maybe his culture knew something we have forgotten.
The desire to repress this word is the desire to repress the emotion associated with it . "No , no , no ! Not here . Not in front of everybody." In other words , do not act fully human in front of other humans .
Like Wayne Stephen said, if the reason we hesitate to use the f word is that we are afraid of what people will think, afraid to show them our true selves, then isn't that pride and fear a deeper, graver fault than using the word itself? Isn't using a "cleaned up version" instead almost a lie?
I would much rather listen to Paul (Wheaton) drop a few f-bombs while explaining how to care for the earth and care for people than listen to somebody with pristine language tell me how to get rich at the expense of others, or how to succeed in our commercial, people-screwing, messed up world. The language on the surface may not be my preference, but the message underneath is pure gold.
So I guess as far as Paul is concerned, the real question is does he really want to infect "as many minds as possible" with permaculture, or does he want to infect those who will care enough about the core issues of permaculture that they will overlook a superficial personal preference?
BUT... sometimes I get cravings in an insane way. I noticed this is often the case when I've got a sinus cold or something similar. I just NEED sweet stuff.
Craig, I've noticed that too, and I wonder if it might be the body's way of asking for more Vitamin C? Or more carbs in general? Have you ever tried satisfying your cravings with fruit or safe starches? Just curious, because the times I am most strict about sugars/starches are when I'm sick, and I tend to miraculously recover from everything within about 12 hours since going Paleo while my non-Paleo husband is sick for days... It just seems a pity to feed a cold with sugar when you've worked so hard to eliminate it from your diet, you know?
Congratulations on taking charge of your health and experimenting to find what would work for you!! I also feel MUCH better on a mostly-paleo diet, and so does my family, but it took us some time to all get to this place.
Are you familiar with the Weston A. Price Foundation? (They have a great website, http://www.westonaprice.org, if you want to check them out for yourself). They have Paleo-ish foundations (though they were around long before "paleo" became "cool."), emphasizing healthy fats and fat-soluble vitamins. But they are very family-focused, and they give instructions for soaking/sprouting/souring grains and legumes to make them more digestible. Since my family also loves bread, rice, and desserts, we've been able to sort of compromise by choosing soaked, sprouted, or extra-nutritious versions of these foods so nobody has to give them up, but we are still nourishing our bodies.
For example, I don't want my kids to be the only ones in town who don't get to eat sandwiches, but instead of Wonderbread, we only eat real sourdough bread. Instead of normal dairy from the grocery store, we only drink raw milk, and we choose fermented/cultured dairy products (like aged cheeses or yogurt), which are much more digestible. We sprout and cook legumes at home instead of buying them canned. And we choose desserts that are made with less sugar or honey, little white flour, and plenty of healthy fats.
We used to eat a "normal" diet, but we have gradually changed a few things at a time so that now it seems totally normal for us to eat the way we do. If we are out with friends, we realize how differently we are eating now from most people, but at home, the kids think nothing of having yogurt and sardines for breakfast. It just had to happen gradually.
Also, especially with growing kids, having plenty of healthy carbs around can be very helpful - like instead of offering the kids animal crackers and pretzels for a snack, offer them sweet potatoes or home made fries or something. Many Paleo experts even allow white rice occasionally. We even occasionally enjoy rice pasta when we're really missing pasta!
Best of luck to you! I know how difficult it is to try to prepare two separate sets of meals for your family...I hope you'll be able to find some healthy compromises that work for the kids and husband to make life easier for you!
I am ashamed to admit, I cannot help snickering like a 6th grade boy when you all describe the "tragic" incidence of "powerful wind." My favorite line of Nourishing Traditions is the description from 1617 of "a filthy, loathsome, stinking wind within the body." They are like nature's Sugar Free Gummy Bears.
Misty, I don't know if you've found a satisfactory diet plan this past week, but if you are still looking for some ideas or guidance, these are some great, non-gimmicky, don't-have-to-buy-anything-to-get-started sources for specifically gut-healing, good-bacteria-encouraging diets:
GAPS diet (eliminates disaccharides and recommends probiotics to allow the lower intestine to "rest" and heal itself): http://www.gapsdiet.com/
I'm sure we all have our own ideas about the perfect foods to eat to combat candida, but these sources specifically have forums/recipes/support to get you started with sugar-free or grain-free living and help you get a good nutritional foundation so you can see what works best for you.
Also, you mentioned that you had tried wheat-free eating before and had terrible headaches. While they may have been a detox reaction, they might also just have been the result of going too low-carb too suddenly. When I have this problem, it is really helpful to intentionally have some "safe starches" handy like lots of cooked carrots, cooked winter squash, sweet potatoes (if you choose to do a diet that allows starches) or other higher-carb, non-grain options. I eat them with lots of butter/coconut oil so they don't give me an insulin rush, but their carby goodness helps reduce cravings and headaches.
Best of luck to you! It does take a while to get used to a new way of eating, but the incredible health benefits are so worth it. Also, it is really fun and empowering to be able to bypass sweets and baked goods without a second thought!
"The most dramatic reductions in inulin content, however, are obtained by slow cooking. Another inulin-rich plant, the camas lily (camassia spp.), was traditionally pit cooked by Native Americans. This involved burying the camas lily bulbs in a pit and covering them with dry wood and stones and, once the fire had been established, earth and grass. The food was cooked for 12 h to 36 h. This method was also possibly used for Jerasalem artichoke tubers, over a 12 h period. Cooking by this method eventually turns all the inulin to fructose, leaving a sweet and soft textured food." from Biology and Chemistry of Jerusalem Artichoke: helianthus tuberosus L. by Stanley Key and Stephen Nottingham, page. 108.
So Michael, you managed to get rid of your bindweed problem in a raspberry patch? I have a patch of bare soil (it used to be invasive Himalayan blackberry + bindweed) that I was hoping to plant with asparagus. If you recommend waiting on the asparagus 'til the bindweed is under control, do you have any suggestions of what I could plant there for this year? I don't want to leave it as bare soil. Is there anything that I could plant there that would survive my bindweed eradication efforts? I was thinking of planting a 3 Sisters guild so that the squash could help shade out any stubborn blackberries.
I don't want to hijack Gilbert's original post, just thought any ideas you had might be helpful for both of us.
Peter: Do note that Aaron called the digging method "back-breaking" first, not me. I mainly just wanted to get rid of some cardboard and chicken poo and avoid chopping any earthworms in half...
Sounds like you have a good plan worked out, Nolan. I'd be interested to hear too about your plans for keeping the rest of the lawn at bay. That's my main problem: keeping lawn chunks-turned-garden from turning back into lawn. The subject for another thread, I suppose.
I just turned a smaller patch of my lawn into a lasagna garden, and it was my first time using Toby Hemenway's sheet mulch method. It worked beautifully with NO digging or sod removal. I just mowed the grass fairly short, applied a layer of cardboard, then chicken manure, grass clipping/wood chip mix, then topped with finished compost to plant in. The grass under the cardboard is probably dead already and feeding the soil.
Just offering another alternative. If the grass in the lawn is healthy and growing like crazy, it seems likely that the soil beneath is in fairly decent shape (at least that's what I gleaned from Paul's organic lawn care article - good soil=good lawn). I think terribly compacted soil that would need manual breaking-up probably would not be growing healthy grass, right? So you may be able to skip the back-breaking soil working steps unless you really think you have compacted soil down there.
Sorry to give a serious answer to your rhetorical question, Johnny Niamert - it is hard to decipher sarcasm and tone from typed text. But as a newbie, I am much more likely to ferment with ACV instead of EM-1 because ACV is sitting in my kitchen cabinet and I don't have to special order it online or harvest it from moldy rice... So I guess I'm glad the ACV suggestions are out there for the less bacteria-literate among us, since they seem to give fine results. Will you post an update on how your EM-1 chick feed progressed and whether you feel it was worth the extra effort? Or have you used it successfully in the past?
We have nettles and Himalayan blackberries growing wild together on our property, and I'd like to harvest the nettles. However, I want to be absolutely sure of what they are before I eat them. They look just like every nettle picture I've seen online, they grow just like the ones I've seen in videos, and they sting. Is that enough information to be sure they are nettles and they are safe to feed my family?
Do you rely on pictures to positively identify wild plants, or is it necessary to have someone with you in person who can identify it? What do you do, and how cautious would you be when trying something for the first time?
Why does everyone always recommend ACV for a 'lactic acid starter'?
Vinegar is mainly an acetic acid fermentation, which is different than lactic acid. Wouldn't one want to use something like EM-1 as a starter for fermenting?
As I understand it, the ACV is mainly useful because it provides a sufficiently acidic environment to prevent the growth of undesirable bacteria/fungi while you are waiting for the good bacteria to proliferate. At least that's how it works with fermenting kombucha: you have to "innoculate" a new batch of sugar tea with some old kombucha to provide high enough acidity for the good bacteria/yeast in the SCOBY to get a chance to grow. Or when making sauerkraut, you just salt the cabbage to keep putrifying bacteria at bay until the good critters from the environment have a chance. The good bacteria are everywhere anyway, in the air/water/feed, so you don't necessarily need to introduce them to the feed, just provide proper conditions for them to take over. I don't think lactic acid, per se, is the goal of fermenting feed, it is just a convenient, spoilage-reducing by-product of the good bacteria that we're really after.
However, maybe a mixture of ACV and your EM-1 would be even better? Is the EM-1 also acidic?
On the topic of yolk color, I noticed when I first started with chickens, on conventional feed, that the package bragged about including marigold as an ingredient to make the yolks yellower. Does anyone know if this is a common practice and whether it is included in most types of feed? We have fantastic orange yolks in the fall and spring when the chickens are on green grass (in the PNW... our grass dies by July and revives in November), but they are never as pale as store-bought eggs, even when they're eating mostly bagged feed. Could that be because of marigold added to our feed that is not present in what the commercially-raised chickens are eating?
Theresa McCuaig wrote:Has anybody checked out Marjory Wildcraft's DVD, Alternatives to Dentists http://alternativestodentists.com/, and Ramiel Nagel's book, Cure Tooth Decay http://www.curetoothdecay.com/? If so, do you think this is quackery, or is there still some value in Dr. Weston Price's studies from the 1930s? http://www.westonaprice.org/. I'm only a medical lab tech, so I'm not qualified to comment. Do we have a dental hygienist or dentist among us that can critique the DVD and book?
I am not a dental hygienist or dentist, but I believe wholeheartedly in the efficacy of Dr. Price's work, and in Nagel's method. Price's findings in Nutrition and Physical Degeneration correlate with Phytic acid and bioavailability studies done showing that children supplementing with Vitamin D3 have reduced dental decay, while those with added phytates (dietary substances which block absorption of calcium/magnesium by the body) have increased amounts of dental decay.
My amateur research has led me to believe that these things are necessary for tooth health, and since I have implemented them, my 4-year-old has actually remineralized a small cavity in her molar:
1. Diets high in Vitamins A and D, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and other trace minerals, provide oral conditions that can actually remineralize tooth enamel. If the body is lacking these nutrients, it will sacrifice the health of the teeth in order to save the bones.
2. Glycerin (found even in natural toothpaste) coats the teeth so that they cannot remineralize.
3. Silica in toothpaste makes teeth feel "slick and smooth," but gradually grinds down enamel. Our mainstream hygienist says she cannot imagine why it is put in toothpaste, other than to send people to the dentist more often and to increase sales of tooth sensitivity products!
4. Xylitol is useful in that it is a replacement for other starches and sugars in the mouth, and the bacteria that cause tooth decay cannot metabolize it.
5. Sodium Fluoride (I know, totally evil), does truly work to make enamel more hard/brittle. It has no place in our water, of course, because it is completely ineffective when taken internally (it only causes fluoridosis), but on the surface of teeth, it is effective. Hygienists claim that they can tell which kids have had topical fluoride treatments and which haven't.
So I feel extremely comfortable with our oral health and have had good results with a Traditional Foods diet high in A, D, and minerals, and low in phytates (in particular, we have stopped eating oats and whole wheat). We brush with straight xylitol powder mixed with a touch of calcium/magnesium powder. Baking Soda is only recommended (even by "mainstream" hygienists) for use once a week because it is abrasive, so no way am I putting it in my kids' daily tooth powder!
Since I have been following this method, I have watched as a small cavity in my 4-year-old's molar has completely remineralized using this method! I was skeptical, but it works! The cavity is gone!
I don't want this to be taken the wrong way, so please hear me out...it is something I have been thinking of for a long time, and this seemed like a good place to mention it.
I absolutely agree that ASD can be an incredible gift, and is not a "problem" to be "fixed," so if I use words like "healing," please don't be offended or think I want to "cure" ASD.
Also, I have heard about many children who are on the spectrum who have been able to become much more comfortable and at ease, able to cope better because of changes in diet. I discovered Permaculture around the same time I discovered gut-healing diets, such as GAPS and various permutations of paleo/dairy-free/grain-free. The basis of these diets is that gut dsybiosis (when the "bad" bacteria in the gut take over and the "good" bacteria die or are too outnumbered to properly seal the gut) can cause undigested food particles to enter the blood stream, causing a slew of problems, from Autism to Fibromyalgia to MS and other auto-immune diseases. So if the gut is resealed by encouraging the growth of the "good" bacteria, the food particles can no longer enter the blood stream, and chronic conditions can be vastly improved, sometimes with symptoms completely reversing. I have heard the most incredible stories of children on the spectrum suddenly being able to function happily with peers because the have been on such gut-sealing diets. However, in people with extreme gut dysbiosis, there is a fear that the "good" bacteria are gone forever, and that total healing can never occur.
About the same time I started learning about gut-healing (and applying it to my own diets, with impressive results), I also read Gaia's Garden for the first time. I believe in the account about an island farm in the Pacific Northwest, Hemenway mentions that species of insects, birds, and other wildlife that had not been seen in the area for decades began to reappear once conditions were favorable for them.
So I thought, if so much of our health is dependent upon the health of our intestinal bacteria, and if we are concerned that some of our critical good bacteria in our guts might be killed off (through bad diet/overuse of antibiotics), wouldn't we desperately try to access beneficial bacteria? And where in the world would beneficial bacteria be more likely to appear than on a healthy Permaculture farm?
We are probably all aware of the studies done that show kids who grew up on working farms having drastically lower incidences of chronic disease. For any protective benefit to occur, the children had to be in contact with the soil, or in contact with animals, regularly. Mainstream medical professionals theorize that the studies show that the kids immune systems somehow "got more practice" dealing with bacteria/fungi as children, so they are less likely to go wonky later on. But isn't it far more likely that the children's bodies were just well-populated with beneficial bacteria, which then protected them throughout their lives?
So, as chronic, inflammatory, and auto-immune disease rates completely skyrocket in this country (and as moms increasingly sterilize every surface in their homes), wouldn't a Permaculture farm be the ideal place for anyone dealing with any of these leaky-gut type diseases?
Again, I don't want to say that ASD is a "disease," or that it is necessarily pathological in nature - I think we are all somewhere on the "spectrum," and only the ASD segment of the larger "spectrum" gets any attention (I am quite sure i am only a hair's breadth from the spectrum but was luckily raised with the label of "gifted" instead).
But could this be a viable component of permaculture - for children on the spectrum, or for anyone who needs some good bacteria in their systems, who live in the city, or in antiseptic homes, to be able to spend time at "good bacteria camp?"
6 T coconut oil (melted)
1/4 baking soda
The coconut oil helps the baking soda not irritate my skin like it did when I used it dry. But I only need to use it during the hottest, sweatiest days of the summer (And it reapplies well).The rest of the time, a shower every other day is plenty. I for sure stink less now that we eat no processed foods, and have cut way back on sugar, white flour, and pasteurized dairy.
So Logan, referring back to your original post, does that mean fermenting things like yogurt should be done in an anaerobic environment? Or kombucha? I have just always heard that they should be allowed to "breathe" through a porous covering. Or is the anaerobic environment more for, say, sauerkraut in a crock, where you don't want any of the cabbage to get above the surface of the brine?