Tag Archives
"ravenhill herb farm"

Water for the Wise

Southern Vancouver Island enjoys a warm summer Mediterranean climate, but the summers have been hotter and drier in recent years. Heat-stressed cedar hedges in the city show dry tips that brown and lengthen as the months draw on; island arborists have noted increased numbers of Douglas firs and Western redcedars dying during dry stretches. Ravenhill …

The Hidden Connections

I was in the kitchen at home this weekend, with a stained and well-loved cookbook balancing precariously on the edge of my counter, a bit of smoke in the air from a stove burner making an acrid plea for cleaning. I didn’t mind: the weekends are when I have the time to be more flamboyant …

Thorn Medicine

“upon a hyll stands a treow but this treow it has no stics no leafs […] abuf the tree flies a raefn below it walcs a wulf and deop in the eorth where no man sees around the roots of the treow sleeps a great wyrm…” -Paul Kingsnorth, “The Wake” In Coast Salish creation stories, …

Towards an Honourable Harvest

This is my hope, anyway: that to sit and observe, as we are encouraged to do in permaculture, can yield in time a kind of intuitive grasp of the landscape. Of its patterns and natural boundaries, its shifting moods; glimpses of its rhythms and of the personality that animates it. That to meditate on a …

Permaculture and City Repair

It was a few weeks ago that we spent a day in the city together as a class, exploring sites of urban permaculture around Victoria. Things feel quieter here in the winter, green and tranquil, and much of the life at these places we visited had the sense not of dormancy but of holding firm …

Perennial Spirit

This week, while spring started nudging colours up from the ground, and as cherry and plum blossoms unfurled overhead and sounded the timid first notes of what will grow to be a symphony of pinks and whites in the city, we sat down at the farm to learn about perennial plants. Solara, our instructor for …

Beginner’s Mind

Here I am: hunched over the classroom table, squinting intently through a hand lens like some rubber-booted horologist. Feeling vaguely aristocratic with this new implement, I test my eye muscles to see whether I can hold the lens hands-free, like a monocle. In my imagination, I wear both personas at once: an aristocrat watchmaker, an …

On Becoming a Permaculturist

I often think about all the things I don’t know. Or maybe it’s better to say, I often think about not knowing, envisioning a kind of huge space next to whatever I call “what I know”. And then, sometimes, I try to stretch it out and make it a collective thing – all that we …