Antifragile Farms

I attended a talk and tour this weekend at Tara Firma Farms. It was organized in part by Adam Taggart of Peak Prosperity. Speakers included Joel Salatin, Toby Hemenway, and Paul Kaiser among others. The general topic of conversation was how to work around industrial agriculture and get back to small diversified profitable local family farms. Google Regulations, … Continue reading Antifragile Farms

Modern Farming

This is where most of our food comes from. Natural gas is used to pull nitrogen out of the atmosphere and bind it to hydrogen to create anhydrous ammonia. This is the Haber-Bosch method of producing synthetic fertilizer. Synthetic fertilizer is applied to vast expanses of monocrop corn, soy, and wheat in regions that specialize … Continue reading Modern Farming

Sikhs and the City

I’m the least spiritual person I’ve ever met. But I’m fascinated by how religious groups can be a dynamic force in the success or failure of cities. Sikhs are particularly interesting to me. The faith emerged in the Indian subcontinent in the 15th century, but they’re neither Hindu nor Muslim. The gorgeous architecture, art, and … Continue reading Sikhs and the City

Sustainable? Phoenix?

I just finished reading Grady Gammage’s book, “The Future of the Suburban City: Lessons From Sustainable Phoenix.” I recommend it to anyone who lives in an auto-oriented desert city and wonders about its long term prospects. The myth of the lone cowboy going out to the open desert amidst the saguaro cactus with a pick … Continue reading Sustainable? Phoenix?

The Other Jane Jacobs

Jane Jacobs is remembered almost exclusively as the patron saint of vibrant walkable human scaled neighborhoods. Her classic 1961 “Death and Life of Great American Cities” is the Bible for many urban theorists. But we hear very little of her last few books. It’s worth reflecting on those as well since she explores the underlying dynamics … Continue reading The Other Jane Jacobs