No digging potato container

I’ve tried different methods of growing potatoes, e.g. in old tyres to contain them…however this Wooden Potato Barrel posted on Green Renaissance Facebook page is such a brilliant idea that I had to re-post it on my BLOG and share it. This Potato Barrel would be visually attractive in any backyard for a continuous supply of spuds!

  • Wooden Potato Barrel, ingenious door that opens on bottom so you can harvest potatoes as needed.
  • You can use any barrel to grow potatoes in, or even old car tires work well. It is amazing how many potatoes you can get from one barrel.

How to grow them –

What does Organic mean

One important thing to take into account today with all the so called “smart advertising” is that just a few “Super Companies” control the majority of food in our supermarkets worldwide. We read the words “organic and natural” on the labels and only one minute ingredient may be organic and natural could mean that an ingredient started out to be a nut and is so processed that it does not resemble the original nut or have any nutrients at all. These companies know how to advertise and deceive the unsuspecting consumer.

Nestle owns nearly 8000 different brands throughout the world. Therefore, we all need to know how to read labels and know what is in our food so these companies cannot pull the wool over our eyes. 

My advice to all consumers is to eat as much Organic or homegrown food as possible to avoid giving our power and our money to Super Companies like Nestle.



fish farming2large-school-of-fish

From nutrition to sustainability to cost to contaminants, there’s a lot to consider when weighing the pros and cons of farm-raised vs. wild-caught fish. 

Most people today are eating more fish as a healthy alternative.  Eating at least two servings of fish or shellfish per week appears to reduce the risk of heart disease, delay the onset of Alzheimer’s and dementia.  

Although meat, poultry, and fish are all good sources of protein, seafood boasts the healthiest fatty acid profile: it’s low in saturated fat and high in those omega-3 fats we hear so much about.

When you get to the fish counter, however, you’ve got some decisions to make. In particular: should you buy wild-caught or farm-raised fish? Many assume that wild-caught fish must be a lot better for you because it’s more “natural.”  But is this necessarily the case? And what about environmental issues, food safety, sustainability, and cost? With this many factors to consider, it’s impossible to make a blanket recommendation. Choosing between wild-caught and farm-raised fish depends on what kind of fish you’re buying, as well as where and how it is fished (or farmed). 

Is Wild-Caught Fish More Nutritious?


Today’s farmed Atlantic salmon provide significantly more omega-3 fats than wild-caught. 

The nutritional differences between wild and farmed fish are not as great as you might imagine. Farmed and wild-caught rainbow trout, for example, are almost identical in terms of calories, protein, and most nutrients. There are some minor differences: Wild-caught trout have more calcium and iron. Farmed-raised trout have more vitamin A and selenium. But for the most part, they are nutritionally equivalent. 

One of the main reasons we eat fish, of course, is that they are a uniquely potent source for long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. And here, farmed fish often have the advantage. Today’s farmed Atlantic salmon provide significantly more omega-3 fats than wild-caught Atlantic salmon, for example. 

The color of the flesh is not a reliable guide to omega-3 content, by the way. Atlantic salmon (whether fished or farmed) is a pale orange, while Sockeye is dark red. The paler Atlantic salmon provides more omega-3. 

Are Farm-Raised Fish Higher in Contaminants?

In 2004, a widely-cited study found the levels of PCBs, a potentially carcinogenic chemical, to be ten times higher in farmed fish than in wild-caught fish. That sounds pretty scary, but the amount of PCBs in the farmed fish was still less than 2% of the amount that would be considered dangerous. The differences may also have been exaggerated. Subsequent studies found PCB levels in farmed fish to be similar to those of wild fish. 

What about antibiotics or hormones? 

Are fish farmers dumping drugs and other chemicals into the ponds to maximize harvests? According to Linda O’Dierno, who is an Outreach Specialist for the National Aquaculture Association, U.S. regulations prohibit the use of hormones or antibiotics to promote growth in farmed fish. This is not necessarily the case in other countries. 

U.S. regulations prohibit the use of hormones or antiobiotics to promote growth in farmed fish although other countries have different legal standards.

The other contaminant that most people worry about with fish is mercury. The fish that present the biggest concern (swordfish, king mackerel. tilefish, shark, and tuna) are all wild-caught. The most common farm-raised fish (catfish, tilapia, and salmon) all have low or very low mercury levels.

The Health Risks of Mercury in Seafood

Mercury is a highly toxic heavy metal that can damage the central nervous system of children and unborn foetuses, slowing development of walking and talking and decreasing memory and attention span. Adults may experience headaches, fatigue, lack of concentration, and numbness in their hands and feet.

Once mercury enters the water, bacteria there chemically alter the mercury, creating a highly toxic substance called methylmercury. Small fish eat or absorb the methylmercury and are eaten in turn by bigger fish, which are then eaten by even bigger fish. As mercury moves up the food chain, it accumulates. As a result, larger predator fish, such as sharks and swordfish, tend to contain higher levels of mercury than salmon and other fish farther down the food chain.

Fish with the Highest Levels of Mercury

King Mackerel




Fish and Seafood with Mid-Range Mercury Levels

Tuna (all varieties except skipjack)

Orange Roughy



Spanish Mackerel

Chilean Seabass



Weakfish (sea trout)



Striped Bass or Rockfish

Fish and Seafood with Low Mercury Levels




Freshwater perch


Canned light tuna (skipjack)

Spiny lobster


Boston or Chub Mackerel





American shad



Fish and Seafood with Very Low Mercury Levels



Flounder, fluke, plaice, sand dabs











Are Farm-Raised Fish Genetically Modified?

cartoon fish

It is also widely believed that farm-raised fish are genetically modified–yet this is not the case. You may have read, for example, about striped bass that have a zig-zag in their stripes. These fish do exist but they are not genetically modified. They are simply a cross between striped bass and white bass–done the old-fashioned way.

However…several companies, including Monsanto have developed GMO fish, specifically Salmon and they are in the process of marketing the GMO fish worldwide.  

NOTE: Kroger and Safeway, the two largest conventional grocery store chains in the U.S., have made commitments to not sell genetically engineered salmon. These stores join other leading supermarket chains — now totalling over 9,000 stores nationwide — that have already rejected the GMO salmon under review by the FDA.



Australian Marine Conservation Society

Support Sustainable Seafood!

We’re at a point in time where there simply aren’t plenty more fish in the sea. With over three-quarters of our global fish stocks either over-exploited or fished right up to their limit, there are only a few fisheries that will be able to serve up the planet’s increasing demand for seafood.

Aquaculture, or farming seafood is often held up as the solution to the global fishing crisis, and indeed, the aquaculture sector is rapidly expanding globally – between 1980 and 2010, world aquaculture fish production expanded by almost 12 times1. 

However, with a continued requirement for wild caught fish to feed fish grown in captivity, there is still a cap on how much farmed produce can provide.

The good news is that we can lessen our impact on our oceans by choosing our seafood wisely. The fish you choose directly affects the health of our oceans. 

If you love our oceans but also love seafood, then you need Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide. It is the country’s first independent tool to choosing your seafood wisely and is now available online .


Put simply, ‘sustainable seafood’ is fish or shellfish that reaches our plates with minimal impact upon fish populations or the wider marine environment. It’s not just the numbers of fish left in the ocean that matters, it’s the way in which the fish are caught, the impact on the seafloor, other marine wildlife and how fishing affects the healthy and natural functioning of marine ecosystems.

Globally, we still have some way to go in achieving sustainable fisheries; poor management, lack of knowledge and the race to make a buck from fishing has led to overfishing and too high a burden on other ocean inhabitants. Bycatch, where species other than those being targeted for sale are caught up in fishing gear, kills hundreds of millions of animals every year, including unwanted fish, corals, turtles, dolphins and seabirds.

Fortunately, there is now growing demand for sustainable seafood – seafood caught or farmed responsibly, at fishing levels that allow fish stocks to maintain their populations and without jeopardising the ecosystem in which they live.

Sustainable seafood can be wild caught or farmed in aquaculture. For wild caught fish, sustainable seafood is generally sourced from fast growing, highly productive species that are caught by methods which don’t damage ocean habitats or catch large volumes of non-target species. Sustainably farmed seafood is usually grown in small, closed aquaculture systems that neither destroy coastal habitats or depend on wild caught fisheries for feed.

Very few fisheries are actually certified as sustainable throughout the world. The uncomfortable truth is that fishing is taking a huge toll on our oceans. Our global marine wildlife is under pressure from overfishing, destructive fishing gear and poor aquaculture practices. Not only are modern fisheries removing many of the fish from the sea, but non-target marine wildlife and ocean habitats are being destroyed in the process.

Thankfully, consumer demand for sustainable, environmentally friendly fish products is beginning to create momentum for a change in the way our fisheries and managed and caught.

Australia’s Sustainable Seafood Guide helps you take the first steps on the journey of discovering sustainable seafood.

Find out more about sustainable seafood at  

Australian Government – Fisheries Research & Development Corporation Atlantic Salmon Health in Australia – project 2007-246.pdf

Buttermilk Tiehack Mountain Colorado

Buttermilk/Tiehack Mountain, Aspen
It took me nearly 14 years to paint this picture.

I can finally give my son and his wife their wedding present. I went from painting daily throughout most of my life to not being able to paint at all due to the pain of arthritis. Over the past fifteen years the arthritis pain began to increase slowly throughout my spine and into my neck. Four months ago I was so frustrated with the constant pain that I was willing to try anything. I had read testimonials and research on raw food and how it could cure arthritis and joint issues in the body. I was totally prepared to commit to a 100% raw diet for a minimum of four months and I jumped right into the deep end.

I’d been on the raw food faithfully for about a month when I decided to have food allergy/intolerance testing done. The Naturopath/Nutritionist informed me that I had fairly severe allergy and gut issues and that the 100% raw food diet would only irritate my gut more. So, I cut out ALL the foods that I was allergic and intolerant to, cut back to 75% raw food and started on what I called my “NO food diet”. As difficult as it has been to live on such a limited diet I feel that it has made a huge difference in my pain level.

What I’ve learned is that food allergies and intolerances can cause many different health issues in the body, including arthritis. However, with eating a mostly raw food diet, cutting out all food intolerances, daily yoga, pilates and determination my arthritis pain is so much less that I’m able to paint again and walk longer distances. My arthritis pain has dimished to the point that it is not an issue anymore and I’m able to persue my passion of painting watercolours once more…such a blessing!


Herb gardenCompost binsAvocado and bed 3Potted Herbs

Above are pictures of my small Permaculture backyard. I have 3 raised garden beds. One is planted out with healing herbs, the second with new seedlings of lettuce, kale, beans, calendula and other “babies” and the third under netting (my main supply of greens) has mature silverbeet and different varieties of kale. I also have potted herbs and I pick up my daily prescription from my farmacy of herbs and make a special tea each evening. Along with the potted herbs I have a dwarf avocado, dwarf mulberry and lemon verbena. I have a lemonade tree, curry leaf tree, a lime tree and several paw paw trees. I keep my fruit trees well pruned as my space is limited.  I compost all food scraps, recycle all paper and plastic and I rarely have more than one bag of garbage each week. 

As part of my residential Permaculture design I have solar hot water and 1kw solar electricity. My long term plan is to put in a small water tank for garden watering and emergency use and more solar panels. I have the atitude and belief that everything will evolve in it’s time! My main aim is to do what I can to live sustainably.

Living Sustainably using  Permaculture Principles

The Basics

Permaculture combines three key aspects:

1. An ethical framework

2. Understandings of how nature works, and

3. A design approach

This unique combination is then used to support the creation of sustainable, agriculturally productive, non-polluting and healthy settlements. In many places this means adapting our existing settlements. In other cases it can mean starting from scratch. Both offer interesting challenges and opportunities.

The word ‘permaculture’ comes from ‘permanent agriculture’ and ‘permanent culture’ – it is about living lightly on the planet, and making sure that we can sustain human activities for many generations to come, in harmony with nature. Permanence is not about everything staying the same. It’s about stability, about deepening soils and cleaner water, thriving communities in self-reliant regions, bio-diverse agriculture and social justice, peace and abundance.

Central to permaculture are the three ethics: care for the earth, care for people, and fair share. They form the foundation for permaculture design and are also found in most traditional societies. Here are the 12 principles of permaculture as described by David Holmgren.


  1. Observe and Interact – “Beauty is in the mind of the beholder”
    By taking the time to engage with nature we can design solutions that suit our particular situation.
  2. Catch and Store Energy – “Make hay while the sun shines”
    By developing systems that collect resources when they are abundant, we can use them in times of need.
  3. Obtain a yield – “You can’t work on an empty stomach”
    Ensure that you are getting truly useful rewards as part of the working you are doing.
  4. Apply Self Regulation and Accept Feedback – “The sins of the fathers are visited on the children of the seventh generation”
    We need to discourage inappropriate activity to ensure that systems can continue to function well. Negative feedback is often slow to emerge.
  5. Use and Value Renewable Resources and Services – “Let nature take its course”
    Make the best use of nature’s abundance to reduce our consumptive behavior and dependence on non-renewable resources.
  6. Produce No Waste – “Waste not, want not” or “A stitch in time saves nine”
    By valuing and making use of all the resources that are available to us, nothing goes to waste.
  7. Design From Patterns to Details – “Can’t see the forest for the trees”
    By stepping back, we can observe patterns in nature and society. These can form the backbone of our designs, with the details filled in as we go.
  8. Integrate Rather Than Segregate – “Many hands make light work”
    By putting the right things in the right place, relationships develop between those things and they work together to support each other.
  9. Use Small and Slow Solutions – “Slow and steady wins the race” or “The bigger they are, the harder they fall”
    Small and slow systems are easier to maintain than big ones, making better use of local resources and produce more sustainable outcomes.
  10. Use and Value Diversity – “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket”
    Diversity reduces vulnerability to a variety of threats and takes advantage of the unique nature of the environment in which it resides.
  11. Use Edges and Value the Marginal – “Don’t think you are on the right track just because it’s a well-beaten path”
    The interface between things is where the most interesting events take place. These are often the most valuable, diverse and productive elements in the system.
  12. Creatively Use and Respond to Change – “Vision is not seeing things as they are but as they will be”
    We can have a positive impact on inevitable change by carefully observing and then intervening at the right time.
 David Holmgren is best known as the co-originator with Bill Mollison of the permaculture concept following the publication of Permaculture One in 1978. His passion about the philosophical and conceptual foundations for sustainability which are highlighted in his book, Permaculture: Principles and Pathways Beyond Sustainability inspired the website where you can learn more about permaculture and sustainable living.

How to incorporate Permaculture into any Lifestyle?

Permaculture is basically common sense, however the best way to live a sustainable lifestyle using Permaculture principles is to take a 2 week residential course and literally live, practice and learn about Permaculture design and implementation in those 2 weeks.  You will learn about designing or re-structuring your property to make life easy, affordable and do-able.

Here is a general outline of a typical Permaculture course:

Day 1: Foundations of Permaculture
Course overview and logistics; permaculture defined; observation skills; ethics and the basis of ecological design; permaculture principles, indicators of sustainability, and how to use them.

Day 2: Design for Pattern Literacy
Designing from patterns to details; natural patterns as a design tool; the permaculture design process; methods of design; the Zone and Sector System.

Day 3: Thinking Like a Watershed
The water cycle; Catching and storage water; designing tanks, cisterns, and other water storages. Roof-top water catchments

Day 4: The Path to Water Wisdom
Ponds, swales, and keyline design; water in the permaculture landscape; greywater and blackwater system design; aquaculture.

Day 5: Soil: The Living Skin of the Earth
Soil structure and composition; soil ecology and nutrient flow; creating healthy soil; analyzing your soil; compost, nutrient teas, and mulches; cover crops and green manures; strategies for your own soil conditions.

Day 6: A Revolution Disguised as Gardening
How ecosystems work; the home garden; plants of many functions; polycultures; integrating animals and insects into the garden; pest management; wildlife habitat

Day 7: Food Forests, Guilds, and Ecosystems
Trees and their many roles; designing plant communities; the orchard; food forest design; hedgerows, windbreaks, and shelterbelts; biomimicry.

Day 8: The Built Environment
The functions of shelter; methods of green and natural building; designing shelter for climate and culture; living roofs; site selection; designing for disaster.

Day 9: Energy and Tools for Working Wisely
Population, energy use, and Peak Oil; renewable energy strategies; appropriate technologies for heating and cooling, transportation, cooking, and construction.

Day 10: Ecovillages, Community,and Thinking Globally
Community dynamics; intentional communities, co-housing, and group decision-making processes; city repair; ecovillages. Designing for urban, suburban, or rural situations. Tropical, dryland, and temperate strategy review.

Day 11: Green Economics and Right Livelihood
Money, finance, and local currency networks; permaculture in education; green business guilds and networks; building social capital. Design project preparation.

Day 12: Putting it Together: The Design Project
Where to from here? Group design project presentations; talent show and final party.




JuiceRaw food and juice


For years now I’ve suffered from arthritis. I’ve literally tried everything to “get rid” of it. You name it; I’ve tried it and to no avail. Some days I have very little pain, however most days I have varying degrees of pain. At 68 I expect some stiffness of joints…no argument there! However, the pain inhibits my activities and dominates my ability to do everyday activities and housekeeping chores. I like to get everything done in the morning as I have more energy and less pain after I do my yoga practice or Pilates. Pain can be very tiring and by late afternoon, early evening I often find myself with low energy and brainpower. I call this my “brain dead” time.

I’m basically a vegan although I eat fish…probably once a week. I don’t eat dairy, wheat or sugar. My diet consists of organic veggies and grains. I take arthritis and other supplements BUT I’m unable to find the answer to curing the arthritis and I’m VERY determined to eliminate it from my life.

I have friends who eat raw food and juice wiho have experienced remarkable changes in health. Lately I’ve been reading testimonials written by people who have become arthritis free by eating only raw food and juice. My New Year’s resolution this year is to go on a raw food and juice diet for a minimum of three months with the intent to cure my arthritis. During the next three months I will try to put a weekly blog on Nature’s Creation and give you updates on changes and outcomes that occur. I’ll be posting the recipes I use and let you know how I’m managing. I’m already comfortable with making a green smoothie for breakfast and assorted salads for lunch although I’m still struggling with dinners that are hearty and satisfying. 

Next week: Blog #2 will have the recipes I’m using.





The Equinox and Solstice Cycle
Taken from the Perelandra Garden Work Book by Machelle Small Wright 
The Perelandra Centre for Nature Research

There are four annual dates that are especially linked with Nature. They are fall equinox (around September 21st), winter solstice (around December 21st), spring equinox (around March 21), and summer solstice (around June 21st). IN THE SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE THIS IS OPPOSITE

Astronomically, the equinox refers to the two days of the year in which the sunrise and sunset are twelve hours apart, with equal hours of day and night. The summer solstice is the longest day of the year, and the winter solstice is the longest night of the year.

But there is something else that makes these four days important, especially to a co- creative gardener or farmer. About twenty years ago a soil scientist tested the Perelandra garden soil and verified my suspicions about an annual energy cycle that is tied to the equinox/solstice rhythm. After testing the soil on and around those four days for over two years, he discovered that life vitality was released to the soil at the precise moment of each equinox and solstice.  He also discovered that the level of life vitality that was released was different for each of the four days and created a consistent pattern that was repeated annually. When he tested several non-Perelandra soil samples, the same thing occurred, indicating that this is something that happens globally and is not unique to Perelandra.

Nature’s new year and the beginning of its annual growing cycle begins at the fall equinox. It hits its high point at the summer solstice. And then at the next fall equinox, a new cycle begins. During the fall equinox, the smallest amount of life vitality is released. At the winter solstice, a greater amount is released. At the spring equinox an even greater amount is released. And at the summer solstice, the greatest amount of life vitality energy is released. Within twenty-four hours after each solstice /equinox release, the life vitality reading of the soil changes to a level corresponding with what is released. The amount of life vitality that is “captured” and held in the soil during these releases directly relates to the level of the soil’s health. A healthy soil holds a higher amount of available life vitality. A depleted soil holds a lesser amount.

* You can find the exact date and time of an equinox or solstice posted on our web- site or you can consult an almanac—or you can Google it.

* All this testing was done using a radionics machine.

* If you’re in the southern hemisphere you’ll need to reverse the order of the cycle—our fall equinox and the beginning of our cycle is your spring equinox. The levels of life vitality released in the northern hemisphere are reversed in the southern hemisphere to coincide with the different growing season.

A high level of life vitality indicates that the soil contains the action elements required for efficiently producing and releasing nutrients to whatever is living and growing in that soil. Let me put this a different way: The average production cost for planting corn in central Illinois in 2010 was $533 per acre. Fertilizer alone was about $250 per acre—and rising. If you raise the level of life vitality in that soil, the fertilizer and seed costs can be reduced by as much as 45%. A high level of life vitality makes the entire soil process and activity that much more efficient. In short, the field with the higher life vitality levels provides more bang for the buck.


This story inspired me…”Be the change you want to see in the world” and I wanted to share this in the hope that it will inspire others.

The Man who Lives without Money

Irishman Mark Boyle tried to live life with no income, no bank balance and no spending. Here’s how he finds it.

If someone told me seven years ago, in my final year of a business and economics degree, that I’d now be living without money, I’d have probably choked on my microwaved ready meal. The plan back then was to get a ‘good’ job, make as much money as possible, and buy the stuff that would show society I was successful.

For a while I did it – I had a fantastic job managing a big organic food company; had myself a yacht on the harbour. If it hadn’t been for the chance purchase of a video called Gandhi, I’d still be doing it today. Instead, for the last fifteen months, I haven’t spent or received a single penny. Zilch.

The change in life path came one evening on the yacht whilst philosophising with a friend over a glass of merlot. Whilst I had been significantly influenced by the Mahatma’s quote “be the change you want to see in the world”, I had no idea what that change was up until then. We began talking about all major issues in the world – environmental destruction, resource wars, factory farms, sweatshop labour – and wondering which of these we would be best devoting our time to. Not that we felt we could make any difference, being two small drops in a highly polluted ocean.

But that evening I had a realisation. These issues weren’t as unrelated as I had previously thought – they had a common root cause. I believe the fact that we no longer see the direct repercussions our purchases have on the people, environment and animals they affect is the factor that unites these problems. The degrees of separation between the consumer and the consumed have increased so much that it now means we’re completely unaware of the levels of destruction and suffering embodied in the ‘stuff’ we buy.

Very few people actually want to cause suffering to others; most just don’t have any idea that they directly are. The tool that has enabled this separation is money, especially in its globalised format.

Take this for an example: if we grew our own food, we wouldn’t waste a third of it as we do today.

If we made our own tables and chairs, we wouldn’t throw them out the moment we changed the interior décor.

If we had to clean our own drinking water, we probably wouldn’t go to the toilet in it.

So to be the change I wanted to see in the world, it unfortunately meant I was going to have to give up money, which I decided to do for a year initially. So I made a list of the basics I’d need to survive. I adore food, so it was at the top. There are four legs to the food-for-free table: foraging wild food, growing your own, bartering and using waste grub, of which there far too much.

On my first day I fed 150 people a three course meal with waste and foraged food. Most of the year I ate my own crops though and waste only made up about five per cent my diet. I cooked outside – rain or shine – on a rocket stove.

Next up was shelter. So I got myself a caravan from Freecycle, parked it on an organic farm I was volunteering with, and kitted it out to be off the electricity grid. I’d use wood I either coppiced or scavenged to heat my humble abode in a woodburner made from an old gas bottle, and I had a compost loo to make ‘humanure’ for my veggies. I bathed in a river, and for toothpaste I used washed up cuttlefish bone with wild fennel seeds, an oddity for a vegan. For loo roll I’d relieve the local newsagents of its papers (I once wiped my arse with a story about myself); it wasn’t double quilted but it quickly became normal. To get around I had a bike and trailer, and the 55 km commute to the city doubled up as my gym subscription. For lighting I’d use beeswax candles.

Many people label me an anti-capitalist. Whilst I do believe capitalism is fundamentally flawed, requiring infinite growth on a finite planet, I am not anti anything. I am pro-nature, pro-community and pro-happiness. And that’s the thing I don’t get – if all this consumerism and environmental destruction brought happiness, it would make some sense. But all the key indicators of unhappiness – depression, crime, mental illness, obesity, suicide and so on are on the increase. More money it seems, does not equate to more happiness.

Ironically, I have found this year to be the happiest of my life. I’ve more friends in my community than ever, I haven’t been ill since I began, and I’ve never been fitter. I’ve found that friendship, not money, is real security. That most western poverty is spiritual. And that independence is really interdependence.

Could we all live like this tomorrow? No. It would be a catastrophe, we are too addicted to both it and cheap energy, and have managed to build an entire global infrastructure around the abundance of both. But if we devolved decision making and re-localised down to communities of no larger than 150 people, then why not? For over 90 per cent of our time on this planet, a period when we lived much more ecologically, we lived without money. Now we are the only species to use it, probably because we are the species most out of touch with nature.

People now often ask me what is missing compared to my old world of lucre and business. Stress. Traffic-jams. Bank statements. Utility bills. Oh yeah, and the odd pint of organic ale with my mates down the local.

Mark Boyle is the founder of the Freeconomy Community: ‘The Moneyless Man’, a book about his year without money, is out in June.

Different Ticks 

Tick Removal

A nurse discovered a safe, easy way to remove ticks where they automatically withdraw themselves when you follow her simple instructions. Read this one as it could save you from some major problems. Spring is here and the ticks are already out in full force. Here is a good way to get them off you, your children, or your pets. Give it a try. A School Nurse has written the info below–good enough to share–and it really works!

“I had a paediatrician tell me what she believes is the best way to remove a tick. This is great because it works in those places where it’s sometimes difficult to get to with tweezers: between toes, in the middle of a head full of dark hair, etc.” “Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for a few seconds (15-20); the tick will come out on its own and be stuck to the cotton ball when you lift it away. This technique has worked every time I’ve used it (and that was frequently), and it’s much less traumatic for the patient and easier for me.” Also, if you just pull a tick out, their heads sometimes break off and are left under the skin so this is much safer. Unless someone is allergic to soap, I can’t see that this would be damaging in any way”.

Be aware also that certain ticks can carry tick fever, or in Australia we have the paralysis ticks. So check for symptoms after finding a tick and removing it.

Yoga & Ecology

Lord Shivas pose

Ecology is the study of the interrelationships and interactions between living things and their environments.  Deep ecology recognises that people are an essential part of the planet, not separate and detached observers.  It emphasises the interdependent nature of human and non-human life as well as the importance of the ecosystem and natural processes.

The root of the word yoga is yuj, meaning ‘to join, to yoke, to concentrate one’s attention.’  Yoga is a method of practice leading to conscious union of the human being with universal existence, internally and externally. Yoga ecology is working with the forces of nature, which are not just material energies but powers of consciousness.  Working with the forces of nature occurs at both internal and external levels.  Internally, we need to balance the forces of our own nature as body, mind, breath and spirit.  Externally, we need to harmonise ourselves with the world of nature and the Cosmic Spirit behind it.  Each one of us is a manifestation of the entire universe and only when we discover the universe within ourselves can we really understand our purpose in life.

Yoga is a way of harnessing the secret powers of nature within us to manifest our own higher natural potentials for greater awareness.  This requires a very deep connection with the world of nature in body, mind and heart.  It requires an open, benevolent orientation to the living world – not just human society but all that is.  We cannot truly think or live yogically without doing so in an ecological way as well.