Check out Day by Day the Farm Girl Way!
This blog is one of the best I’ve found that discusses the life of a woman living on 10 acres and photographing wildlife. I strive to learn more about native habitat creation, and get better with my camera (and my hand-drawn illustrations). Recently, Day by Day the Farm Girl Way made an informative blog post about following animal trails and learning which species are visiting the area, what they’re eating, and more secrets of the forest. Hop on down the trail and check it out!
Amanda’s upcoming surgery questions our resolve to exclusively focus on alternative medicine.
This is a third update to our previous posts, Healing from an Ovarian Cyst Naturally, and 35 Days Pain-Free (the second update). I’m sorry to say that the alternative medicine approach did not work for me in the long run – it eliminated my symptoms, and increased my overall health and ability, but did not shrink or cure the large complex cyst on my left ovary. My follow-up ultrasound revealed that the cyst still hovered around 9cm in size, not getting much bigger or smaller since it was discovered in April 2012. View full article »
This is for women who need to know how to fix basic problems that could happen at home.
It recently occurred to me, while browsing the library stacks for the usual mindless entertainment I enjoy, that I have absolutely no knowledge about simple home repairs. This PBS home video jumped out at me as a solution to wanting to build a sustainable house with a lack of skills in plumbing, electrical wiring, etc. Dare to Repair was a great introductory video in how to fix minor problems in your standard house or apartment, and much of what I learned can be applied to our off-grid earthbag house someday. View full article »
31 Ways to Use Mason Jars & 6 Holiday Gift Wrap Ideas!
Today I have to give a shout-out to some creative resources helping us live lightly on the earth: Ozark Natural Foods and Keeper of the Home. Often in our American society, the knowledge about how to live a healthy life is lost from generation to generation, while at the same time new advances in technology are giving us more options than our ancestors ever had. I’m in the middle of this lovely sandwich between grandma’s lost gardening know-how and the computer’s vast stores of complex, often hidden information. The spice to my sandwich is shared knowledge that’s free for anyone who wants to learn. View full article »
Check out Sustainability Tips from Ripples in the Free Weekly!
Part of our mission is to share with others what we’re currently learning about sustainable living. So I was super excited when I had the opportunity to begin a new column with the Fayetteville Free Weekly, and provide tips, resources and anecdotal experience on topics like living without a car, earthbag building, cooking organic meals, growing vegetables, and more. It’s a great chance to hopefully reach more people with the information you find on Ripples, and maybe we can inspire them to take small steps in their own lives. Even a tiny change makes a big difference when everyone does it, like recycling. View full article »
We finally finished setting up the office where Ripples get Written!
Ripples’ new desk space
After the move, life was chaos for awhile. Between my health issues and Ryan’s various jobs, we hardly had enough time to think about Ripples and the emerging homestead, as well as the non-profit work we’d been doing. Now, we have a step in the right direction: a home office, all set up as a study and computer desk. As long as no other crisis happens in the next few weeks, I’ll be getting back into working from home on a regular basis. And you know what that means – allergen-free cookies! And new sustainability stuff! And more help for non-profit organizations! I’m really, really excited. I’m crossing my fingers that the rest of this year will be spent pondering how to make the world a better place, rather than pondering how to survive in the world. View full article »
We said good-bye to our two baby chicks last Saturday after watching them grow for two weeks.
The cuddly one.
Thanks again to Green Fork Farms, we successfully completed the educational “chick rental” program so that I could learn how to raise chickens! It was only a couple weeks, but gave us hands-on experience with chicks that helped us make the decision to raise chickens on our homestead in the future. It was fun hearing peeping in our bathroom while the chicks were staying with us. I cleaned their water, feeder, freshened their bedding of pine shavings, kept the brooder’s temperature constant, and helped them practice perching and stretching their wings. Here are the picks from the last week with the chicks as they grew quite a bit larger!
Celebrating a successful capacity building course!
A Wiki I made for helping students access resources on capacity building
Many of you already know that Ryan & I have been active assisting non-profit organizations to build their capacity in one way or another, whether its acquiring a youth program or a website, or teaching a class on effective organizations. Ripples is not just about helping ourselves live a sustainable lifestyle; we’re also dedicated to inviting others to join us on the journey in their own ways, which is often the work of non-profit organizations assisting with food justice, energy efficiency, and other causes. View full article »
I’m super excited to begin teaching and learning from my students!
The reason(s) why I have not posted to Ripples this past Monday/Tuesday is partly because, hey, it was Valentine’s Day and Ryan & I were both trying to enjoy a nice day off work despite both of us being sick. But the biggest reason I haven’t taken much time for Ripples is because tomorrow is the first day of my course, Capacity Building, with Youth Action for Change!
If you’ve never heard of YAC, please do check them out because they offer online courses on a wide variety of youth empowerment topics. I’ve already taken an online course through the Earth Charter called eGLO #3 “Global Learning Opportunity,” but this will be my first time teaching an online course. I’m a bit nervous and distracted, even thinking about it in my sleep to make sure the best possible curriculum is created for students’ benefit.
Here is the advertisement for the course created by YAC:
“This course is designed for young people aged 18-30 who are actively involved in making a difference in their communities, particularly those already running smallnon-profit organizations or community projects or intending to start one. The course will help students understand and analyze the capabilities andcapacities of their non-profit organizations or projects and identify gapsrelative to the capabilities needed to achieve their targeted goals. Studentswill then be guided to develop an action plan to improve theirorganization/project’s capabilities.
The course will be led by Amanda Bancroft an experienced youth volunteer who has served as a former Americorps*VISTA (Volunteers in Service to America)volunteer, and built organizational capacity through grant writing, youth program development, website design, volunteer management, fundraising, and green job creation.
The course will be restricted to 40 participants chosen by application – preference isgiven to participants who are active in their communities and who intend to usethe course material to help them make a difference in their communities.Participants must be able to attend all sessions of the course and complete homework tasks inorder to obtain a certificate of completion. Participants must also haveregular internet access (at least 5 hours per week) to join course sessions. Students who may be disadvantaged are also encouraged to apply.”
How-to guides for recycling and DIY projects from MakeProjects.com!
Ryan found an awesome website to help us get in the groove of creative recycling. Having an actual guide or manual for a project makes me feel like the project has a lower chance of failure, so I wanted to share some of my favorites with you. For the whole wonderful 88-guide list, check out MakeProjects.com! View full article »