Watershed Voice columnist Deborah Haak-Frost weighs the pros and cons of mulberry trees, and the importance of using what you have to get what you need.
“The field of permaculture holds a principle of ‘obtaining a yield’ — in other words, work with the world around you to get or produce what you need. This seems fairly obvious: the point of a vegetable garden is to yield vegetables, after all. Working a job yields monetary income, which pays the bills. But what if the idea of yield was expanded? Where can we see potential and possibility for greater yield?”
Watershed’s Deborah Haak-Frost writes, “Permaculture is a way to approach things like gardens and ecosystems, but it’s equally as valuable a tool for understanding and designing community dynamics, social relationships, and one’s inner, emotional workings.”
Sow Good Seeds columnist Deborah Haak-Frost writes, “This isn’t a call to abandon grocery stores and restaurants, and start threshing wheat in our backyards to make bread in wood-fired ovens, but it is an invitation to reconsider how we see our time, skills, and the story of our food in today’s world.”
WSV columnist Deborah Haak-Frost writes, “In this list, I share my top five Sow Good Seeds columns of 2021. My hope is that they may invite you to see yourself more deeply in the context of this planet, to consider a perspective you may not have had previously, to plant some seeds in your mind about how our lives are so intricately interwoven with the natural world.”
WSV’s Deborah Haak-Frost writes, “There’s more than a twinge of disappointment as I harvest the last of the tomatoes. Remote work has a glamorous aspect when carried out from the patio, barefooted in the dappled shade. And as the angle of light changes through our west-facing glass door, it has a way of giving the cat hair and dust bunnies on the dining room floor a nice glow at sunset.”
Doug and Alek are joined by Sow Good Seeds columnist and the most talented member of the Haak-Frost household Deborah Haak-Frost. The trio discuss the wonders of permaculture, why lawns are a problem, the many pursuits of Three Rivers nonprofit *culture is not optional, scones, and the GilChrist Retreat Center.
WSV’s Deborah Haak-Frost writes, “I’ve written about the future in a previous column, and the subject came up for me again, unsurprisingly, as I watched The Tomorrow War, an Amazon-exclusive film. If you haven’t seen it and you don’t want spoilers, stop reading now and come back after you’ve watched it.”
WSV’s Deborah Haak-Frost writes, “As I write this, April – Earth Month – has just come to a close. I’m admiring the seedlings awaiting daylight in the windowsill; I’m recycling my local pizza box from dinner; and I’m pleased at the Biden administration’s announcement about reducing greenhouse gas emissions. As wonderful as those things are, I’m actually here to talk about something else. I’m here to talk about menstruation.”
WSV’s Deborah Haak-Frost writes, “Clearly, any gardener knows that some aches and pains come with the territory. As an otherwise-fairly-healthy-ish 32-year-old, though, I’m a bit frustrated that my body is exhibiting tendencies of one that has endured much more time and wear.”
WSV’s Deborah Haak-Frost writes, “I’d like to make the case, on behalf of the planet, that less might be more. I am not a parent, and I don’t know if I can or will be, but I want to be conscious of the impact of my choices on the earth in terms of family size.”
WSV’s Deborah Haak-Frost recently interviewed St. Joseph County Drain Commissioner Jeffrey Wenzel to learn more about what exactly a drain commissioner does.
WSV Columnist Deborah Haak-Frost writes, “I have a veritable gaggle of winter squashes amassing in my kitchen, all waiting patiently to fill roasting pans and crockpots for the long cold season. Their soft-skinned, warm-weather cousins have disappeared, but these hard-shelled, firm-fleshed troopers stick around.”
If you’re seeking a calm reprieve from the turbulence of this year, Tom Springer’s The Star in the Sycamore is a balm. If you’re looking for wry, thoughtful nature writing in the spirit of Wendell Berry or Mary Oliver, nestle into these pages. If you’re feeling a bit adrift, the writings will deeply ground you in the forests and rivers of southwest Michigan.
“I see the irony here: I’m supposed to be the tree-hugger. And yet, it’s still hard for me to feel a sense of urgency around climate change, particularly when there are pressing situations happening all the time. It’s especially tricky now, but I think it’s always been hard.”
“I preserve food in good faith that it will be eaten and enjoyed later – not simply because I can’t bear to see a tomato go moldy. It’s good to put food away for the future, but it’s also good to eat now, while the eatin’s good.”
“When land, air, and water are devalued and exploited for their resources, the people living in those places (more often people of color) are dehumanized and exploited as well. Conversely, when the earth is cared for, the people on that earth are cared for.”
“One breath of fresh air in the culinary doldrums is using fresh herbs: they provide a punch of flavor to bring a dish up a level, adding dimension and complexity. The chemical compounds concentrated in the leaves and stems of herbs give zest and contrast when added to a meal.”
“Preparing food, to me, is one way that I care for myself: I love the creativity of transforming fresh produce into a delicious meal, as if I were creating a mixed-media art piece. It’s a way of accomplishing one small thing that nourishes and re-energizes me. It’s a way of absorbing and honoring the energy that farmers, farm workers, and gardeners (including myself) have put into growing the food I’m putting into my body.”