Sure, the turnips are a thing, but also…

It comes up in conversation periodically, and it can get pretty confusing when one person is talking only about agriculture, and another person is speaking about all interconnected systems.

So here — when someone says “permaculture,” these two very short videos will give you a good, general overview of what they could be talking about. In addition to turnips.



Poolside Podcast York

So the other day (week? Jebus time goes fast) I had the good fortune to sit down with Jonathan Smith, the lovely and talented host of Poolside Podcast York, to talk about the new Dr Sketchy’s branch in York (every 2nd friday of the month at Parliament.)

Which I did for maybe two minutes before doing that diverging tangents thing I tend to do, and we ended up talking about almost everything else under the sun.

Jonathan is a delightful host, the podcast is highly enjoyable, the goal is admirable (to shine a light on creatives and nifty humans doing cool stuff in York that might otherwise go unnoticed) and if you have any interest in the episode I was on, you can check it out here: Episode 33 (love those double numbers!)

We touched on so many subjects briefly  that I felt like I should share some more info and links and maybe some photos.

Sketchy-11-17-IMG_3334Valeria Voxx, the brilliant burlesque performer and model extraordinaire who graced our first, awkward but earnest Dr Sketchy’s York branch debut at Parliament, can be seen making things happen at Dr Sketchy’s Baltimore at The Windup Space the first monday of every month. (Really, she’s an amazing performer, stellar model, and fabulous human being.)


Valeria Voxx at one of the creative get-togethers mentioned in the podcast.

Rory the rooster was mentioned in there, so here are a couple of shots of him in all his pre-egg-eating glory:


I mentioned the farm a few times, and how beautiful it was, so here is a smattering of photos, none of which capture a quarter of its beauty:

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I mentioned hugelkultur, and here are a few good introductory bits about it:
Hugelkultur benefits article in Permaculture Magazine and a good how-to article in the same source.  Paul Wheaton’s intro to hugelkultur article on RichSoil  (the video in the article is here, in case you didn’t scroll all the way down.) And here’s a quick clip of my little hugelkultur experiment, which was delightful.

I think I mentioned that is an excellent resource for all things permaculture, and I highly, highly recommend checking out almost anything Sepp Holzer has done, starting with his book Sepp Holzer Permaculture, or the many videos about the Krameterhof and his other projects on the youtubes. Acres USA is also a good source for permaculture and other sustainable/regenerative farming methods, and their Acres USA Primer oughta be required reading.

(Sepp Holzer and Paul Wheaton should really be household names, and then folks could stop flipping out about this whole “feeding the world” thing.)
I mentioned the Penn Street Art Bridge, and below are a few photos — go check it out, and if you’d like to get involved in any of the projects the York Time Bank is cooking up, just join/sign up (be sure to verify your email address please and thank you!!)

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I mentioned my colorful ancestor Augustine Hermann, and the Susquehannock Indian fort in York that was on the map he made in the 1600s. (I also mentioned an ancestor from Ireland who moved to York, but finding her in my MyHeritage family tree was taking more than a couple of minutes.)


We touched super-briefly on the Susquehanna River being one of the oldest rivers on the planet, which I think is amazing and magical and we should really be working towards being better stewards of the water.

Geologically, the river is extremely ancient, often regarded as the oldest or second oldest major system in the world. It is far older than the mountain ridges through which it turns, most of which were formed in uplift events of the early Cenozoic era. Like the Hudson, Delaware and Potomac rivers, the basin was well-established in the flat plains that existed during the Mesozoic era.

There is evidence that the flow of the ancient Susquehanna was established early enough that it predated the Appalachian orogeny over 300 million years ago, meaning that the river was in existence well before Pangea broke up and formed the Atlantic Ocean.


There was talk about how we like to think that we’re logical but we’re really just big balls of feels, and copping to that could ironically help us be more logical.

There was brief discussion of Lillie Bell Allen, and how as a society we would benefit from acknowledging injustices and unhealed wounds.

I mentioned a Community Land Trust, and if the concept is new to you you should totally read up on it.

We said stuff about how there are converging macro trends — mainly associated with AI and 3D manufacturing but also transportation — that are going to obliterate millions of jobs (seriously, like 50% of all jobs, y’all) and that UBI is going to be super important so we should really be experimenting with it. (Elon Musk agrees!)

The phrase “regulatory capture” was used, and if that’s new to you and especially if you’re in America or the UK, you should read up on it because it’s kind of an enormous deal.

A bunch of books were recommended — Happy City, The Geography of Genius, Sepp Holzer’s Permaculture, Mycellium Running, Smart Swarm, Restoration Agriculture, and.. hm, I can’t remember what else. Check out The Great Good Place, Cognitive Surplus, and Bold, too.

We also talked about the York Time Bank, a local alternative currency in which time replaces money, and if you like the idea that our economy could be less toxic and more sustainable you might enjoy Sacred Economics by Charles Eisenstein. And this TEDx talk from Black Rock City a few years ago about the Woergl Experiment.

I can’t remember if we talked about UpCollective, or Gratitude Gatherings, or a dozen other things going on, but we covered a pretty broad territory. You should check it out. Or any of the other episodes, which are proving to be good listenin’ — here’s to smart, kind and funny folks lifting people up and just generally making York even more sparkly and magnificent. It’s a real treat to have been on Poolside Podcast.

(And I have even more respect and appreciation for the kinds of folks who “link info below” when they do videos or posts and whatnot because omg how do you keep track of it all!)





Don’t wait. Do it now.

“Here’s how I think it works. Each one of us is born carrying a Silver Thread that runs from our life straight back to the heart of our Creator.

No one has ever carried that particular thread before, and no one will ever carry that particular thread again. Only you will ever carry your thread, only I will ever carry mine.

These threads are what weave this huge, timeless tapestry we’re part of, far too great for us to perceive while we’re walking the Earth.

We can’t even look an inch to the left and say, “That person is not weaving fast enough,” or to the right and say, “That person is not weaving evenly.” The only thread we can weave with is our own.

Some of your ancestors’ threads are woven into yours, those with whom you have some particular affiliation. Different ancestors must work with different people in the same family — otherwise, siblings would be much more alike than they are.

As you come to know those ancestors, you can understand more about what you came here to do. This understanding is more of the Heart than of the Mind. Do the Work and trust the Process.

If we wait to do everything until we know what it is, non of us would ever have learned to walk.”

Worth Cooley-Prost, artist & activist




Entering Dreamland by Catrin Welz-Stein

Astrological charts came up recently, and it reminded me of the vocational chart reading I got from Astrodienst a couple of years back.

If you’re poking around this site to learn more about who I am as a human, you may find this useful because yeah, it’s pretty much on the nose.

If you’re someone who’s trying to figure out your greater purpose in life, I highly recommend getting a vocational chart of your own done because it could provide useful insight. At worst, it can help you figure out what not to do, and sometimes that’s enough.

Art, Music, Tea, Monsters

Here are the the tea blends and relevant songs that were a part of March’s Sound & Vision opening at Hiveartspace in York:  (you can get your own pouches and tins of the tea blends from Adagio, and 5% of each blend goes to support the ACLU.)

whatswithscreaming-tea-labelThe What’s With All The Screaming blend was inspired by Jonathan Coulton’s Skullcrusher Mountain — yet another catchy tune about a mad scientist in love.

“I made this half-pony, half-monkey monster to please you / But I get the feeling that you don’t like it / What’s with all the screaming? / You like monkeys, you like ponies / Maybe you don’t like monsters so much / Maybe I used too many monkeys / Isn’t it enough to know that I ruined a pony making a gift for you?”

Whats-With-All-The-Screaming-web.jpgThe PonyMonkeyMonster collage in the show goes with this tea because it goes with the song. (It’s my very first but probably not last PonyMonkeyMonster! There’s a part of me that wants very much to make a Concrete Cuddler that’s also a PonyMonkeyMonster, but it’s not likely to happen this week.)

Moving on!


forgetyourperfectoffering_tealabel Forget Your Perfect Offering blend was inspired by lyrics in Leonard Cohen’s song Anthem. You probably know the ones: “Ring the bells that still can ring / forget your perfect offering / There is a crack in everything / that’s how the light gets in.”

(There’s another Leonard Cohen-inspired blend called A Thousand Kisses Deep, as well, but that one wasn’t one of the blend samples handed out at the show.) (Or maybe it was and they just got scooped up so fast I didn’t see them — that’d be pretty cool.)

pirinzalag-tea-label Pirin Zalag was inspired by Dave Carter and Tracy Grammer’s song The Mountain, which is all kinds of super special to me.

I won’t go into why because it’s kind of an intense story for a conversation about tea, but Pirin Zalag comes from the Sumerian chant that Dave sings in the background of the song, and it means Forest of Light, which gives me goosebumps.  The song is beautiful and the tea doesn’t suck.

Then there’s Squirrelly Spice, inspired by the band The Squirrel Nut Zippers.


And Nesatovo, inspired by the song of the same name by the group Beats Antique.


Then comes Wildflowers, inspired by Dolly Parton’s song Wildflower. (Yes, technically there are three artists on this track from the Trio album but it’s totally a Saint Dolly song.)


once-more-with-feeling-tea-labelAnd finally Once More With Feeling, which of course is inspired by the whole Buffy soundtrack rather than just the song.

The painful label design comes straight from the CD design, which I had for the longest time. It’s been years and years, but once in a blue moon there’s still some breaking into song around a certain group of friends. Because yep. That warrants a tea, for sure.


What he said.

waterislifewhitebuffaloThis essay by Charles Eisenstein is so good.  I had to share it if only to say: what he said.

Here’s to ferocious peace, man.

“Writ large, the situation at Standing Rock is the situation of our whole planet: everywhere, dominating forces seek to exploit what remains of the treasures of earth and sea.

They cannot be defeated by force.

We must instead invite a change of heart by being in a place of heartfulness ourselves – of courage, empathy, and compassion.

If the Water Protectors at Standing Rock can stay strong in that invitation, they will demonstrate an unstoppable power and win a miraculous victory, inspiring the rest of us to follow their example.”

The Hero of This Story

Thanks Facebook Memories 🙂  A year ago I posted about this email my mom sent seven years ago. She was always ahead of the curve, because man is this ever useful at this particular time of the world.

“It’s an excerpt from one of Martin Prechtel’s books that mom typed out and sent me in March of 2009:

“… Art is no longer what we want to do, we now do out art to bring the world back to life. The more the scientist investigates, the greater the evidence of the overriding complexity and elegance of what makes the universe happen.

Healers decide to farm to make the bodies healthy, instead of always fixing what is broke.

It is no longer enough to rebel, resist or make a revolution, we must live out the story in all its aspects, realizing that the hero of the story is not the girl, the hummingbird, ourselves or what we love.

The hero of this story is the story itself.

So often the artist is sacrificed for the art and the art is what lives.

This story tells us that our art must be sacrificed, turned into a magic that puts us back together in a new way and hatches the world back to life.

This story tells us that living the life of an artist is not as useful as living our lives as a work of art.

What we love and what brought us into the world must together hatch us into life, but this time not into what we were, but into a never-before-seen thing, all its own, whose voice cries in ecstacy, whose form goes even beyond our own imaginings.

The hardest part of being a parent is to sit like a mother bird on our children’s egg of possibilities without meddling or peeling or having anything to say as the young person is allowed to go through all the painful, mysterious, unexplained and even toxic changes necessary for them to arrive at their true form.


somewhat later when the harshness of the jealous world has taken her tenderness apart, it will be her art, her poetry, her desire to be seen as someone who “sees” that will reassemble her into a real person with a grief-tempered joy in one eye and a fierce compassion in the other.


Though at some point your daughter’s desire may drive her, like the Tall Girl speaking beautiful words to her short, unseen lover, to read the poems of thirteenth century, ecstatic Persians out loud to the lonely walls of her bedroom in secret hopes that some lover would mistake her for God and come in through the eaves, it could be that somewhat later when the harshness of the jealous world has taken her tenderness apart, it will be her art, her poetry, her desire to be seen as someone who “sees” that will reassemble her into a real person with a grief-tempered joy in one eye and a fierce compassion in the other.

Like it or not, a million moltings occur in a fully lived life, and the story says that all the fights, conniving, fleeing, crying, dying, grief and confusion are the tangled roots of the tree of life upon whose branches our adulthood must come to fruition.”

~ Martin Prechtel, The Disobedience of the Daughter of the Sun, pp. 86-87

(A secret: it’s really all the same Story.)