The Elements

Fire, Water, Air, Earth

These are the elements our ancestors believed made up our world.

While, yes, hydrogen, berium, and astatine do exist and makeup our world, these four basic elements are the foundation.

Fire, water, earth & air make us up as humans. When we connect with these forces, we are in fact connecting with ourselves and our environment.

Here are some ways to check in with each part.

FIRE

Fire is all about your Will. You can practice using the fire within yourself by moving – dancing, stretching, singing. You can also make a list and NO MATTER WHAT complete that list by a designated time. Fire requires action, an “umph” if you will.

WATER

Water is your emotions and magnetism. Take a few moments to feel your body, what is going on inside – how the energy moves, where is goes, how it flows. Your dreams will also give you insight into your feelings. Journal your dreams as soon as you wake up in the morning. Don’t analyze them, just write down what happened. Also, drink a lot of water to help your body move more freely.

AIR

Air has to do with your thoughts and the way that you think. Take a few moments to sit and observe the way your thoughts come in and out of your mind. Are they fast, or do the connections between your thoughts flow? Don’t judge, just notice. Try mindless journaling, too, just write whatever comes to mind for five minutes or so. Breathe deep.

EARTH

Earth is grounding. It’s still. Try simply being still. Walk through the dirt bare foot. Garden. Be near nature. Earth is who you truly are.

The elements align us with the world around us. This is critical to be at peace, make the best decisions, and to help others.

In Soil We Trust,

Tiffany

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Light Flames

Just like one small flame lights up total darkness, you too can be a flame of light in a background of darkness.

This applies to everything.

To being a link in the chain of local food.

To advocate.

To speak up against environmental dangers.

To CHOOSE sustainable products.

To CREATE choices of sustainable products.

It just takes one flame to light up darkness and set forth energy to its surroundings.

In Soil We Trust,

Tiffany

Kitchen Scrap Gardening

All you need for a little garden is… Scraps! The seeds, bulbs and roots of fruits and veg that you’ve already used are all you need to replant for cheap. (Oranges, lemons, limes, sweet potatoes, avocados, carrots, beets, onions, and ginger work well!)

You’ll also need containers (I like to use used plastic fruit containers, milk jugs, sour cream containers). Potting soil is also good, or just grab some soil from outside! & of course, water.

Here’s how you’ll wanna do it for…

Big Seeds

For big seeds, like an avocado, you’ll want to let it dry out for about two days. Then, plant the seed in a pot with pretty moist soil – but make sure to leave the tops of seed/pit exposed to the air, out of the soil. Or, you can use toothpicks to boist the pit up over some water in glass – with the water just high enough to touch the bottom of the pit. Just be sure to change the water once a week. The roots will sprout in about 1-2 months!

Little Seeds

The easiest little seeds to grow are from citrus like oranges, lemons, grapefruit, and limes. Just plant three to four of seed one inch deep in the pot of moistened soil. In 2-4 weeks the seeds will sprout! After six weeks (be sure to keep the soil moist!) you can transfer into a bigger pot as the seedlings turn to trees. It’ll be a few years before citrus actually bears fruit BUT the leaves of the plants are fragrant.

Roots

Root crops like beets, parsnips and carrots can be “beheaded” to sprout new top growth. Just slice off the head end along with one to two inches of the root and place it in a saucer filled with pebbles for support and water. New greens will appear on top in about a week. In a week or so new greens should appear from the top. Once you’ve got that, put the root into a soil!

Greens

Garlic and onions are good example of this. Just put the cloves or blubs in soil, just enough to cover the whole clove/bulb. That’s pretty much it, just keep the soil moist!

Alrighty! Enjoy. Also… here’s the resource I used for this post 🙂

https://kidsgardening.org/resources/garden-activities-kitchen-scrap-gardening/

In Soil We Trust,

Tiffany

A Poem for Soil

In inspiration of recent posts I’ve read, I wrote a little poem. This poem represents the wonders of the underworld… aka soil.

In darkness, life manifests. Life starts underground. Life starts in the comfort of a dark womb. Life starts from death.

Sunlight only rises the

Occult. The hidden.

In the darkness is where

Life is truly born.

Chickens & Their Besties

It’s no secret that DIVERSIFIED farming is the best farming.

The more diverse your farm, the more resistance to any trauma there is because each element can protect one another.

Today I’d like to discuss a chicken’s best friends, and some of the animals or landscapes your chickens should probably avoid.

Starting with who/what you should definitely keep your chickens around…

Chickens’ BESTIES:

Cattle, sheep, meat goats, & horses. Chickens are great at picking through these animals’ manure and utilizing the nutrients from it. They also help decrease fly and other parasites on the land that can be found in the manure by eating the larvae. For horses, chickens can help them spook less.

Orchards & pastures. With these types of environments, chickens get to get in their exercise, follow their natural instinct to forage, & breathe in fresh air and sunlight. All the while, they eliminate bugs, repurpose unusable plant material and fallings, and fertilize!

Chickens’ “Just friends”:

Turkeys. Chickens can become immune to certain diseases by hanging around turkeys, but also can get more susceptible to other diseases. Kind of a roll of the dice.

Gardens & forests. Chickens do wonders for fertilization in both areas. They also have the opportunity to get exercise, breathe fresh air, and receive sunlight. But, they can cause damage to plants if not monitored and can also attract predators.

Chickens’ “No, Thank You’s”:

Dairy goats & pigs. Dairy goats tend to eat the chickens’ food. & Pigs and chickens can easily spread disease to each other, especially avian tuberculosis.

Wetlands. Damp environments in general are unhealthy, and can be a host of parasites and other bugs that are harmful to chickens.

Alrighty! These seem to be the big ones. Hope this brought you some guidance and general information for how to best raise your chickens in a diversified landscape.

Remember, just because chickens don’t mesh well with some of these animals does not mean you can’t have both! Just keep them separate and always pay close attention to any health signs.

In Soil We trust,

Tiffany

Why Honoring Yourself is Honoring All

Today’s post is not totally sustainability related, but I suppose it can be in some ways.

I’d like to encourage everyone to do what makes them happy. If you’re in a situation that just doesn’t FEEL right, then you’re not only doing a disservice to yourself, you’re doing one to everyone.

We are all working together in one giant system.

For example:

If I choose not to get a dog, someone else may get that dog, and that dog may save their life.

If you choose to eat a fish dish from a meal, that dish might one out for someone else who was unknowingly allergic to one of the dishes.

Someone who quit their job because they absolutely despise it, leaves a position open for someone who would be perfect for it.

Life is full of situations like this because nature is always trying to maintain balance, and does so in mysterious ways. Nature has a plan for us all.

When we try to fight that plan by doing things we don’t like or things we think we ought to like but don’t, then we create missed opportunities for others.

When we honor our own needs and feelings, we allow the rest of the world to follow suit. If we deny our needs and feelings, the rest of the world is unable to progress.

So, do what feels right for yourself and the rest.

That’s all for now!

In Soil We Trust,

Tiffany

What Exactly IS Government?

Government is defined as an organization that can legitimately use coercion.

Okay. What does that mean?

Here we go.

Organization: This is an institutional structure where people have tasks related to a specific purpose.

Legitimacy: This part is a bit more intricate. Legitimacy was historically gained by government by claiming divinity. Now, legitimacy is often predisposed to citizens. Citizens simply accept the legitimacy of government, and they generally accept that the government serves the public interest. Government also hangs onto this by solving problems for the public.

Coercion: This piece permits government to accomplish tasks. Coercion is like the government’s currency or stock in trade. One example is eminent domain, or the legal procurement of property to enhance public good. This can be used for good… or evil.

Government is tricky, complicated, gross, and important. This description above is what government is at its CORE.

Government is important to sustainability and soil because government MAKES DECISIONS by using their legitimate coercion.

Well, that’s all for now.

In Soil We Trust,

Tiffany

Homemade Business

I have my own tortilla business. It doesn’t pay the bills, that’s for sure. But it gives me a little fun cash AND the opportunity to fill the market with a local, fresh product.

Most tortillas have tons of unnecessary preservatives, chemicals and who knows what.

My tortillas only have 4 ingredients, and all of them I source locally.

I was struggling to find tortillas that were tasty and had good ingredients. I thought others might feel the same so I decided to put them on the market!

I encourage others to do the same.

If you have a favorite food that could be made from scratch in your home, it’s likely others would support you and purchase the product. Especially if they are tasty!

Homemade business starts with a need. You can be just like me, bringing in a few extra hundred a month and supporting local food systems.

That’s all for now!

In Soil We Trust,

Tiffany

Cities and the Future of Sustainability

Half of all people in the world live in a city. Even after the shock of 2020, that is not going to change.

Most of urban expansion will start in the developing world.

Cities account for only 3% of land, but makeup 60-80% of energy consumption, and over 75% of CO2 emissions.

These are some pretty significant stats I learned from my time at university.

While these are the current figures… sustainable professionals have other plans for the future…

Here are the targets for a sustainable future in regards to cities:

  • Ensure access to safe & affordable housing
  • Improve road safety (more foot traffic, less parking lots)
  • Strengthen efforts to protect culture
  • Less people affected by economic loss due to disaster
  • Decreased environmental impact in cities (air quality, waste)
  • Access to green and public spaces
  • Link people, planet, & profit.

I realize these are all vague. This is more a list to get the sustainable mind thinking. Also, it’s good to have a list like this covering broad topics so that when we think of specific solutions, we can still see the other issues.

IE. If we try to decrease air pollution, but that causes economic turmoil, we are solving one problem but creating another.

Alrighty! Hope your brain juicies are flowing.

That’s all for now.

In Soil We Trust,

Tiffany