Living wisely in the modern world

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air_quality

Indoor Air quality – A Few Important Facts

IAQ or Indoor Air Quality controls the quality of air within a building that influences the comfort and heath of its inhabitants. Several stressors of energy or mass that affects your health, allergens, carbon monoxide and other chemicals constitute the IAQ besides bacteria, mold and other microbial contaminants. Researchers have revealed that the presence of …

water_water_everywhere_but_not_a_drop_to_drink

Water, Water Everywhere but Not a Drop to Drink

As we here at the homestead move through the summer being very careful to ration our water usage due to the cracked cistern, it’s not hard to see how it’s not just our bad farming practices that waste and pollute the earth’s water supplies, it’s also ourselves. Why doesn’t everyone have low-flow toilets and showers …

earth lodge

Earthlodge: The Original Sod Home

I read an interesting article on the “earthlodges” of Native Americans in the Dakotas the other day. I’d learned early in my life when the family moved from New York to “Indian Territory” – Oklahoma – that not all Native Americans lived in those portable teepee tents so prevalent on the plains. I knew the …

USDA: Sequester Impacts

We homesteaders are among the citizens who pay a good deal of attention to the programs and operations of both state and federal agricultural departments because they can directly affect us (for good or ill). We often make use of our state ag departments’ extension services for education in things like beekeeping, land use, community …

A Timber Business That Doesn’t Cut Down Trees

In my very rural neighborhood with lots of small-acreage homesteads that have been going for generations, there is a lumber mill. Belongs to a neighbor, mostly just a big-timber circular saw and carriage under a sturdy roof with no walls, stacked hardwood logs he and his several sometimes/part-time workers have salvaged from acreage nearby being …

Hurricane Sandy: Solar Plan-Ahead

We all watched in dread fascination as Superstorm Sandy hooked a hard left right where predicted off the coast of northern Virginia to slame full-force into northern New Jersey and New York City just days before Election Day. Its storm surge was every bit as devastating as predicted, and its 1,000-mile-plus wind field wreaked havoc …

Bayer & Monsanto Killing Bees

The numbers are in, and they add up to devastating. Bee Informed Partnership this month released its preliminary report on honey bee colony losses in the US for 2013-2014. The partnership, along with the Apiary Inspectors of America [AIA] and the USDA have been surveying beekeepers for 8 years in an attempt to get a …

smoky haze

Fire on the Mountain …Again

I kind of knew that three whole springs without a forest fire along the Norfolk-Southern’s grade over the continental divide was pushing things. Hoped maybe their relatively new-found practice of carefully checking their brake connections BEFORE heading uphill into the ‘loops’ might become a habit. It’s been raining pretty steady, and yesterday it snowed. Not …