Pondering the Big Picture as the year begins

Homemade crackers

Homemade crackers

So an arch druid and an economist walk into a bar…

Being stuck inside due to our weather, I tend to read/plan more in the winter. This fascinating interview by a serious economic mind and the head arch druid leader in North America is one of the more interesting things I’ve read in recent months. It relates to my annual reconsideration of the Big Picture and how we are relating to the world both professionally and personally.

I’m finding it exhausting to pursue both Lifeboat strategy personally and Powerdown strategy professionally (both useful terms from Richard Heinberg). Since I’m not really sure what the alternative is, I plan to continue this for 2013, but the danger is I don’t do either one really well.

This month’s highlights and lowlights…

  • My wife’s ability to make the most amazing things, like the $50 in crackers you see pictured here from about $3 worth of store-bought flour/oil and our herbs. This combined with her kale butter is amazing. And preparing it as a family is a good reminder of what life can be. Simple conversations. Simple preparations.
  • Toby Hemenway’s latest essay on nomads and the culture of fear we’ve created.
  • Our new flock of Golden Comet chickens are cranking out the eggs. 20+ eggs per day from a flock of 30. In the middle of winter. With no heat nor light supplements. Just happy free-ranging birds on pasture with an open sided chicken tractor to protect them from the elements.
  • Our greenhouse has literally every surface covered in healthy lettuce, but with the lack of heat and sun, the growth is stunted. They’re in excellent soil in 6″ pots. Think I need to thin the trees nearby to get more winter sun.
  • We lost two of our three bee hives yesterday. One to the cold and the other (perhaps) to Nosema. Given that all three hives were literally humming with activity three weeks ago when I last replaced the feeders, I’m going to rethink my strategy of minimal harvesting to help them overwinter. On the plus side, one hive had left plenty of food left, so we get to harvest honey from a full box of frames this week.