Home Ecology Tips in English and Chinese

Our friend and colleague Catherine ZHOU kindly translated some introductory sections from Karen Christensen’s  in-progress book Home Ecology. Versions of these tips were included in some of her previous books, and she is busy compiling and writing a new guide that will focus on preparing for climate change, but also deal with other issues close to home. More on Karen’s environmental work is here. An Introduction 引言 to Home Ecology This is a book about ecology, a science that studies something very simple: homes, and the relations and networks that [...]

January 31st, 2022|Categories: Home Ecology|

Rio +20, World +20, Karen +20

2012 is a year of environmental anniversaries: 20 years since the first Rio Conference, 25 years since Our Common Future (known as the Brundtland Report) gave the world a definition of sustainability, and 50 years since Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring launched the modern e29nvironmental movement. It thrills me that environmental sustainability is so closely connected with two women – Gro Harlem Brundtland, a Norwegian politician, and Rachel Carson, an American writer – and that Berkshire’s 10-volume Encyclopedia of Sustainability, seven years in the making, is being published now, in 2012. [...]

December 29th, 2021|Categories: Home Ecology|Tags: |

A wholesome loaf

We’re not the first people to need a better daily bread. A loaf  that is 100% whole grain and suitable for both toast and sandwiches. A loaf that is anyone can make, easily. As World War II progressed, the quality of bread in England became a major issue. The ordinary people of Britain were subsisting, often, on little more than tea and bread and jam. They couldn’t get supplies of American wheat because the ships that crossed the Atlantic would loaded with war-related goods, but no one knew how to [...]

February 3rd, 2021|Categories: Food|

Cooking through a crisis

After I published the post "To Cook A Wolf - Baking with M F K Fisher," the cookbook platform ckbk suggested we collaborate in promoting an idea we both clearly believe: that home cooking can help us get through the COVID-19 crisis. I had picked up How to Cook a Wolf because it’s about eating during an emergency era, dealing with strained budgets and scarce provisions. M. F. K. Fisher tackled the challenge of hearing the wolf at the door with panache. It is true that, when the wolf first [...]

May 26th, 2020|Categories: Food|

Foraging & fiddleheads

Long before lockdown began in Massachusetts, I’d been laying in supplies at the urging of my son in Beijing, who’d already been through it. I started planning a vegetable garden, but was a little concerned about getting enough fresh vegetables. It would be ages until there was anything from the garden, I thought, until I realized that the rather annoying ferns that are endlessly trying to dominate the beds around my house are in fact the variety that produce edible fiddleheads. Then I learned that hostas, another plant I have [...]

May 13th, 2020|Categories: Food, Garden|

Where has the toilet paper gone?

Social distancing has led to some intimate sharing in my neighborhood, starting with a plaintive email asking if anyone knew where you could find some toilet paper. Here’s the response that got the ball rolling: All over the US we are dealing with a TP shortage and grocery stores seem to be having a hard time sourcing them and keeping them in stock. If you are completely out, I’m willing to spare a roll or two. However, if you’re just low (and this goes for everyone) please consider doing the [...]

March 30th, 2020|Categories: Home Ecology, Around the House|