Monstanto 1, Vernon 0 – choose your side and get involved!
Monsanto, one of three companies that control 53% of the world’s commercial seed market, has sued hundreds of small farmers in the United States in recent years to protect its patents on genetically-engineered seeds. Read more
The first two-storey, load-bearing straw-bale house in the UK
Almost twenty years ago I left the life I knew to live on an acre of terraced woodland in Pembrokeshire. A friend helped me to build an 8x12ft shed and I had the beginnings of my own home. In all naivety, I thought I could live on my own land Read more
The story of money, and how it built an empire
Here’s a story. Some of you may know it, but I’m guessing that most people don’t, which is surprising because it has enormous importance for the way we live today, and how our children might live in the future. Read more
Everything is one: a blackbird told me
I’m writing this listening to a blackbird singing. Short bursts of song, a different tune every time. The blackbird occasionally drops down to the lawn, pecks around, pulls out a worm and flies off to eat it. Read more
The European Commission wants to stop us saving seeds
Dear friends, How many times have we asked you to write to your MP, European or otherwise? Never, that’s how many. So this is a first. It’s a plea to take 5 minutes out of your bank holiday weekend Read more
Craft skills are too important to lose
How many people do you know these days whose work involves traditional craft skills? For every craftsperson in the UK, there must be a couple of thousand working in telesales. Read more
Mrs Thatcher was not ‘evil’ – she did what was necessary for Britain to succeed in a game that is utterly wrong
On the day of Mrs Thatcher’s funeral she will receive many plaudits and much abuse. I don’t think that there is any merit in rejoicing in the death of a woman who believed that she was doing the right thing Read more
Ecological Land Co-op successful in their application for homes on eco-smallholdings in Devon
Remember this blog post about the Ecological Land Co-op’s attempt to start three eco-smallholdings in Devon? A local councillor said: “Nobody would subject themselves to that way of life. You might as well be in prison“ Read more
La Via Campesina ‘peasants’ movement inaugurated in the UK
La Via Campesina is an international organisation claiming around 250 million members! It defends small-scale sustainable agriculture as a way to promote social justice and dignity. Read more
Pembrokeshire says this home is “harmful to the rural character of the locality” and must be demolished
Charlie, who built this beautiful straw bale roundhouse, is a young man with a young family and like many finds it impossible to afford a home. In Charlie’s case he had three things going for him. Read more
What chemicals are used in fracking, and where do they go?
(Image: the wonderful Marty Two Bulls). Article in the Guardian today pleading the case for fracking by someone purporting to be ‘green’. He says that: ‘the toxic sludges brought back to the surface can cause pollution’ Read more
Review of Roger Scruton’s Green Philosophy
Roger Scruton is probably the nation’s most famous right-wing philosopher. So you might find it surprising that as a director of an environmental organisation, I found a lot to agree with in this book. Read more
Build your own solar phone charger
Norman Phipps has developed a weekend course on which you can build your own small solar electric panel from the scrap from the photovoltaics industry, with a USB port for a phone charger or an LED light. Read more
Recognising wild food plants and getting in touch with your inner ape
A few summers ago I visited Monkey World, a picturesque Dorset home to mistreated apes and monkeys from across the globe. To my amazement I saw Capuchin monkeys picking blackberries and an Orang-Utan Read more
Land & freedom? launch of a new land project
Are the US and the UK free countries? Can there be true freedom if too much wealth (including land) is allowed to accumulate in too few hands? Imagine 100 households living on 500 acres. Read more
How to make a 7-course meal for 12 people for free
Recently some friends and I were served a sumptuous seven-course meal with a twist: every single ingredient came from the bin of a top-end retailer. Well, everything apart from the road-kill rabbit spotted on the way home. Read more
Who says green/spiritual/progressive ideas aren’t represented in the mainstream?
When we complain that green/spiritual/progressive ideas are not represented in the mainstream, let me tell you about the Jonathan Ross show on Saturday night (and you can’t get any more mainstream than that – it’s the epicentre of mainstream). Read more
Overland to Australia 4: yurts/gers in Mongolia
Sam Ryan worked for Lowimpact.org in the UK for a year, and is now on his way overland, with his partner Dani, back home to Australia to set up Low-impact Australia over there. He’s sending us a few blog articles en route. Read more
Craftivism: new year’s revolution!
New Year Revolutions! Revolution = A turning, change (dictionary definition). It’s the start of a new year again, many of us will have made resolutions, usually to give something up – like smoking. Read more
What’s the potential for the Permaculture, Co-operative and Transition Movements to bring about real change?
What I want to argue is that these are superb movements, promoting as they do, ways of living that are oriented towards nature, co-operation, and face-to-face contact in local communites. Read more