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Listen to “The Bug Whisperer”

Mark Sturges doesn’t advertise — clients have to find him by word of mouth, but find him they do. He’s become a master of an agricultural art as old as agriculture itself: basic compost.

Listen to “Straw Bale: The Ultra-Ecological House”

As our environmental challenges mount — from devastating wildfires to hurricanes and floods — one solution, largely ignored thus far, may lie in using an unlikely-sounding material for home-building: straw. Has the lowly straw bale home’s time finally come?

Listen to “The Jewelry Archaeologist”

Through years of painstaking, often combative detective work, Hugo Kohl rescued an era of early American jewelry manufacturing technology that was on the brink of extinction. And what Kohl makes with these old machines turns out to be superior, in many ways, to the finest modern jewelry.

Homemade Artisan Bread Made Simple

Confined to our homes during the Covid-19 quarantine, many of us have realized this is an ideal time to start baking our own bread. The idea has spread so fast that stores are running out of flour and yeast. But fear not. Resources abound for how to make your own yeast, and even your own flour.


The Wider World of E.F. Schumacher’s Legacy

Here’s a fun thought exercise: Peruse the work of almost any of the leaders who, during the last few decades, have been pushing for an economic system that would serve a broader array of our citizens, preserve community vitality, and slow our environmental problems. Chances are that at some stage of their history, most will…

Drugs and Rehab: Selected Resources

If you’re interested in learning more about drug addiction and the rehabilitation programs that try to fight it, it’s easy to become  overwhelmed by the myriad articles, books, and other resources on the topic. To simplify matters, here are five good places to start. This briefing paper from the New York-based Drug Policy Alliance looked at…

Co-Op Resources

Co-ops have been around as an alternative business model for a long time, but in recent years they seem to have been enjoying a marked surge of interest. From all indications the reason is that, although working for a co-ops involves a lot of work, these companies also serve their employees in crucial areas where…

The Soul Of Community

Like many American cities, Durham, N.C. has been turning once-abandoned factories into tech hubs and microbreweries. Over the decades, it has also been building a shared commitment to the poor, the disenfranchised, and people of color. Barry Yeoman, a veteran journalist who has lived in and loved Durham since 1985, digs into the city’s soul. And he discovers an architecture underneath this community with some unusual layers.

Photography by ALEX BOERNER

Straw Bale Building Resources

The community of straw bale enthusiasts (or baleheads, as they call themselves) is vast and passionate. If you’re interested in building your own straw bale home, want to explore a workshop, or just feel like exploring the terrain, here are some of the best places to start. David Arkin and Anni Tilt, of Arkin/Tilt Architects…

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