Spring Beekeeping Workshop

Spring Beekeeping Workshop
Demonstration Hive

Friday, December 20, 2013

Documentary about Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute

Here is a link you can use to view this interesting program about one of the most well-established Permaculture Homesteads and also a training institute in this country:


The Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute offers workshops and certification programs in Permaculture.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Wendell Berry to speak in New Haven this Saturday, 12/7/13

Wendell Berry is a famous writer among certain circles.  He is an avowed agrarian, poet, essayist and, in my book, a wise man. Some of his most well-known works may be "The Unsettling of America" and "The Art of the Commonplace" both of which are painful to read, in places.  Not a good recommendation, I know, but if we are to see through the BS we are regularly handed out, we have to be able to deal with the pain of what has happened to society during the 20th and 21st centuries.  Another beautiful little book of essays and literature, that I love, is "Imagination in Place".  Truly a lovely little book.

He will be speaking at a Yale University sponsored event at the Shubert Theater in New Haven on Saturday, 7 December 2013, at 2:30pm.  The event is free and open to the public but you must make a reservation.  The Theater is located at 247 College Street, New Haven.  You can call the box office to make reservations:  203-562-5666 or 888-736-2663.

Read Bill Duesing's essay on CT-NOFA's latest "Gleanings"

Bill Duesing is the founder and long serving President and more recently Executive Director (retired) of CT-NOFA (Northeast Organic Farmers' Association).  Here is the link to his lovely essay in the latest edition of "Gleanings", an on-line newsletter published periodically by CT-NOFA.  Bill is one of the most dedicated and knowledgeable people I know in the field of food and agriculture.  His insights are valuable and clearly expressed.  The link is:


If you have trouble with the link, simply go to the CT-NOFA website and click through to "Gleanings".

Thursday, September 12, 2013

This Book I'm Reading

I have to share this book I'm reading.  It's called "Harvest" by Richard Horan.  To write this book he visited farms all over the United States and volunteered on their harvest.  He harvested wheat in Kansas, to cranberries in Massachusetts.  Along the way, he learned a lot.  I want to share something he wrote in this book, with all of you, and perhaps you will read the whole book, too.

Here is the part I want to share:

In this he starts by quoting Mr. Bryce Stephens, a farmer of red winter wheat and a devoted adherent to Rudolph Steiner's biodynamic farming methods, strictly organic and natural, of course.  Here he is talking about GMO seed (genetically modified seed):

"They're already in ninety-five percent of soybean and eighty percent of corn crops grown in the US. they certainly know that whoever controls the seeds controls the world!"

Then Mr. Horton goes on in his own words:   "I discovered yet another injustice.  There is a full-scale, round-the-clock conspiracy against the obvious, and it is well financed, professionally managed, and magnificently effective.  So, in addition to evolution deniers, global-warming pooh-poohers, omniscient-free-market fundamentalists, mountaintop-removal mountebanks, atomic-energy-is-safe beguilers, clean-coal con men, corporations-are-people-too lobbyists, prisons-keep-us-safe fearmongers, cell-phones-don't-cause-brain-tumors liars, one-hundred-billion-plastic-bags-a-year-is-not-a-problem ignoramuses, guns-don't-kill-people-people-kill-people misanthropes, a-college-education-is-worth-the-exorbitant-price-you-paysophists, American-health-care-is-the-best-in-the-world extortionists, the-history-of-the-English-speaking-peoples-is-beyond-reproach magniloquents....I now had GMO-seed-is-the-only-way-to-feed-the-world megalomaniacs to add to the list".

Thank you Mr. Horan for this.  I couldn't say it this well, but I think about it every day. All of it.  Thank you.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Spicy Garlic Soup from Bountiful Harvest

This recipe is adapted from "The Great Garlic Book" by Chester Aaron.  I varied the recipe slightly to suit what I had available in my garden yesterday, August 28, 2013.  If you are a garlic lover, then this recipe is for you.

Ingredients List:

1 pound of Violet Jasper tomatoes, chopped
1 hot red pepper very finely chopped and seeds removed, unless you REALLY LOVE hot spicy food!
1 teaspoon of ground cumin
4 whole cloves
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
20 garlic cloves
3 cups vegetable broth or water
1 organic vegetable stock cube or 1 tablespoon of Liquid Aminos, or Miso paste
handful each of chopped mint and parsley
shaved parmesan cheese

In a large stockpot, place the tomatoes, the hot pepper, cumin and cloves, with 4 chopped garlic cloves.  Bring to the boil and then cook over medium heat, covered, for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a small frying pan and saute the onions and 6 chopped garlic cloves, until tender but not browned.  Add to the tomato mixture in the stockpot.

In a small saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil and add 10 whole garlic cloves.  Boil slowly for 4 minutes.  Remove the garlic cloves and continue to cook the cooking liquid to concentrate the flavor.
Add the liquid to the stockpot with the stock cube or flavoring.

Sprinkle with chopped herbs and serve with toasted baguette and shaved parmesan cheese.

Beautiful Bounty on a Connecticut Homestead, workshop announcement

Beautiful Bounty on a Connecticut Homestead

An introduction to site assessment and planning and design for a beautiful and sustainable home site. You will walk through an Edible Forest Garden, Shitaake mushroom growing area, observe rainwater catchments, and other sustainable features on a productive Connecticut homestead.

You will learn the basics of:

  • soil building
  • composting techniques
  • growing perennial vegetables and herbs
  • growing popular annuals

Led by soil scientist and permaculture designer, Cynthia Rabinowitz, the class will be held at The Center for Sustainable Living at 90 Cabbage Lane, in Bethlehem, CT. 

Date:  Sunday, 15 September 2013
Time:  2pm to 5pm
Registration Fee:  $30 per person
Registration Form: downloadable at www.connsoil.com

For questions or more information e.mail cynthia@hgconnsoil.com

Monday, April 8, 2013

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Permaculture for Professionals


Permaculture For Professionals

18 April 2013, 10-4pm

This program is co-sponsored by The Center for Sustainable Living, Bethlehem, CT. and The New Morning Natural Food Store, Woodbury, CT.  and will be held at the New Morning.
Registration deadline is 15 April 2013.  Please visit www.connsoil.com for a registration form.

This training is for professional Planners, Architects, Engineers and Landscape Architects who want to understand and incorporate the principles and techniques of Permaculture Design into their practice. Permaculture is an interdisciplinary design system that mimics principles of ecology to meet human needs while increasing the health of the ecosystem.

In this training participants will gain knowledge in the following outcomes:

  • Understand permaculture history, ethics, principles and language
  • Identify connections between social, cultural, environmental, and political challenges
  • Recognize and analyze patterns found in society and the natural world
  • Apply whole systems thinking to problem solving through design
  • Observe, analyze, and assess a site to determine its resources and constraints
  • Gain knowledge of a whole systems design process
  • Learn techniques for clean water, soil, food production, buildings, and economics

Most importantly we will work together to find leverage points to incorporate this into the work that you are already doing.

Workshop Leaders:

Lisa DePiano is a certified permaculture designer/ teacher and professional planner. She initiated Feed Northampton, one of the first Food Security Plans in the country. She runs the Mobile Design Lab, which focuses on participatory design and planning.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Identifying, Understanding and Using Edible and Medicinal Plants

Identifying, Understanding and Using Edible and Medicinal Plants

Join herbalist, Alison Birks, MS, AHG, CNS, at the Center for Sustainable Living, for a hands-on introduction to many useful plants of Connecticut. Learn about edible and medicinal plants in your garden and surroundings!Class will cover basic herbal knowledge such as herb lore, identification, harvesting and traditional uses.
This class also includes a demonstration of the Simpler's Method of preparing medicinal plant extracts.

Bring a notebook with you and wear comfortable, sturdy shoes. This class will be held "rain or shine" so please come prepared for the outdoors.

Fee: $35.00         


Registration Deadline: 9 May 2013.  For a Registration Form please visit www.connsoil.com