December 27, 2020

This I Believe

I believe that most people do not want to live a life defined by work and shopping and what we own.

No one grows up wanting to be a worker drone stumbling along on automatic. 

Life is too short for that, and we can feel it in our bones. 

I believe people want to live a simple life with enough,

spend time in nature every day, 

go to bed when they are tired and get up when rested,  

live in vibrant, supportive, resilient communities, 

grow their own food, 

make their own art and music, 

spend quality time with loved ones, 

lay in the grass and watch the clouds, 

nap frequently and without guilt, 

sit in a comfy place reading for hours, 


actively follow their passions.

This I believe.


December 24, 2020

Simple Gifts

The world is in turmoil, but that does not mean that each day we have on this crazy planet isn't still a precious gift. With all the death around, this is more true than ever.

In spite of global uncertainty, in our quiet, little rural corner of the planet, every morning Linda and I wake up looking forward to another day. 

Each one we are given is a gift to be cherished.

We have no pain... that we can't handle. 

We are together.

We have nutritious, wholesome food to eat. 

There is wood for our stove to heat our home. 

Our simple life has allowed us to be as free as can be given the circumstances.

We have loving family and friends to share life with us. 

Each morning we are born into the gift of more time. How much more, we do not know.

At this point of the year we like to meditate on the priceless packages nature bestows upon us each and every moment. 

For these simple gifts we are grateful. 

When we treat every day as a gift, an adventure of curiosity and discovery, we wake up excited, ready to unwrap and savour each moment.

Nothing to buy. 

Batteries not required. 

Seasons Greetings to all!

December 21, 2020

Holy Xmas Shopping

How far Christmas has fallen over the last 2000 years or so. 

At one time it was a celebration of the birth of Jesus, and for some it still is. 

Those celebrants might remember that Jesus told his followers that they would be "complete" and "perfect" if they were to give up their possessions. 

I am not sure if this was said metaphorically, but it does speak to practicing a humble simplicity free of distractions. 

However, for most of us, it's a Corporate Christmas, and the only holy thing about that would be the profits that pour out of Santa's Sweatshops into hidden suit pockets.

At this stage in the collapse of consumer capitalism, we can assume anything that system wants us to do is probably not good for us, or the planet.

That especially includes the most common activity of this time of year - obligatory, unfettered Holy Xmas Shopping.

St. Corporate Nick says, "Buy It All", but that will never make us content, happy, complete, or perfect.

Best to strive to make wise, compassionate use of the gifts that have been given us, and not squander our time and energy chasing capitalist false promises.

I believe Jesus would approve that message. Happy birthday. I didn't buy you anything.

Note: To see more of Serbian artist Aleksandar Todorovic's satirical artwork from his "Buy It All, Eat It All" series, visit here.

December 19, 2020

Happy Winter Solstice Week

What is that, high up the tree in middle of photo?

I have decided to co-opt consumerism's proclivity to extend each and every holiday and celebration in order to maximize their profit-oriented possibilities, like when CyberMonday goes on for a week or more, or having a week of Boxing Days.

Therefore, I declare Winter Solstice Week, because one day just isn't enough. 

Now, new and improved, we can savour our northern approach to the shortest day of the year for a full seven days.

Winter Solstice every day.

Porcupine, which embodies faith, trust, and playfulness. 

That means a week of savouring sunrises, wholesome home cooked (and often home grown) meals, camaraderie, and the ample opportunities in each moment to become aware of the magical Universe, of which we are a holographic part. 

Think of the possibilities as we coopt the coopters. 

We're taking Winter Solstice back. 

It's real.

It's free.

Happy Winter Solstice Week.

December 15, 2020

Holiday Gift Giving In A Pandemic

Gift giving is changing. It may never be the same again. You can thank the pandemic for that.

The spell of consumerism has been broken, and you can thank the pandemic for that, too. 

There will be no returning to "normal", despite what we are being told. 

Was normal that great anyway? 

Do we really want to return to that?

Not when normal is wage slavery in order to survive. 

Not when normal is a declining standard of living for most... but not all of us.

Not when normal is rich people going for all the marbles in a global takeover.

Not when normal is the unleashing of violence upon people in other countries that have resources we want, as well as upon our own people... if they are the "wrong" people.

Not when normal is working harder for less, and not having enough time to live.

And certainly not when normal is buying people things they don't want or need because of feelings of obligation, misplaced love, a large dose of advertising arm-twisting, and an even larger dose of "it's the patriotic thing to do".

This gift-giving season, think about a more sensible approach, or consider no gifts at all.

A pandemic is a great excuse to take a break! Do we really want to think about mindless ritual gift giving with so many other more important things going on right now?

If you do give gifts, think of giving something appropriate for this pandemic holiday season. Highly appreciated by most would be things actually needed. And there is so much need right now.

That is the way to go this year, and every year.

Gift Giving In A Pandemic

- food, water, clothing, shelter
- toilet paper (this year's hot gift for sure)
- or better yet, an add-on bidet, or tabo
- tea, coffee, and chocolate provide a moment of respite in hard times
- rent money 
- books (the old fashioned kind that don't need electricity to work) 
- face masks, hand cleaner, disinfectants 
- help paying health care costs
- best is to give the gift of your time

And remember, the gift of nothing is nice if the person in mind doesn't need anything.

Sometimes nothing is better than something.


December 12, 2020

Storing Garden Carrots In Fresh Moss - Update

On the last day of October Linda and I set up a fresh moss bin for storing this year's carrot harvest in our unheated garage. It has been interesting to see how things have progressed over the last few weeks.

Having never done this before, I have been amazed every time I open the bin. 

What have I been seeing?

It's alive! It's all alive!

I open the bin and I see that the moss is still alive and growing. It came from the forest quite moist, and it is still that way.

The bin gets covered with clear plastic to keep moisture levels up, and I guess it lets enough light through so that what we have is a big terrarium. 

It still smells as fresh as the forest it came from. Since this moss is acidic, it does not support the growth of bacteria. 

When I go to the bin it is like pulling carrots out of the garden because they are still growing. What?

Most of them have new rootlets, and they are also sprouting from the tops. 

As I gently pull them from thier comfy moss bed they resist a bit before I overcome their tendency to want to stay and grow.

The best thing is that these carrots are as firm and fresh as if we just pulled them from the ground.

Our carrot harvest was not overly large, so we may only have a few more weeks of them left now. I wonder if everything will keep growing over that time.

If so, the carrots will be great into the new year, and when they are gone I am hoping to be able to take the moss back to the forest and replace the holes I left when I harvested it.

That would make for a great, sustainable method for keeping garden carrots fresh without electricity.

It is looking good up till this point, and I am optomistic that we have found our method for effective carrot storage.

December 8, 2020

Imagining A Better World

Today marks the 40th year since we said good-bye to John Lennon. 

He left us with his signature song, "Imagine", in which he lays out his better world scenario.

Today it is as easy as ever to find problems with the way our world works. Much more difficult is boldly outlining solutions that will benefit the totality of this planet.

John had some excellent suggestions, like living without being trapped by our possessions.

It is not a stretch to imagine that most of humanity would support a better world where everyone is taken care of, and war is a barbaric thing of the past.

The current system is past its best due date, and it is starting to smell bad. Now, more than ever, we need a radical imagining of something fresh and new to replace it with. 

"Imagine", Yoko Ono said today, "a world where we all live in peace".

That would be a great start.

Things I Hang On To - Glass Jars

There are some things that come into my home that don't go in the garbage or recycling. That is because they are not garbage, or recycling. In my house, they are useful resources.

Glass jars are in this category. I am happy I have a few stored up since there aren't too many glass jars coming into our home lately. 

That is because we are now making some of the things that we used to buy at the grocery store. Things that come in glass bottles like a wide variety of pickles, and jam.

Case in point are pickled jalapeños. Why buy them (unless you don't have a jar to put them in) when they are SO easy and fast to make? The same goes for all pickles, and lots of other things, too.

We pickle 2 small jars of jalapeños at a time, which will last us a few weeks. The recipe is for refrigerator pickles, so they do not need to be water or pressure canned. See below for recipe.

I find it very satisfying to make as much of my food from scratch as I can, and pickles of all sorts are an easy way of fulfilling that goal.

I did not taste an excellent cucumber pickle until I made them myself because I like spicy pickles and the store bought variety don't cut it in that department. 

About the only good thing about store bought pickles, in my opinion, is the glass jar they come in. I like the jars more than the pickles inside.

The best part for me is that by reclaiming self-reliance skills, I can reduce my dependence on the conventional economy. You know, the one currently breaking down. 

Reducing dependence on the system is always my overriding goal, and always has been. That is more important today than it has ever been in my lifetime.

Glass jars are things I have always hung on to, and now I can see the wisdom of that, with pandemic shortages affecting availability of official canning jars, although I know they aren't equivalent.

Has anyone out there tried hot water canning with reused store-bought jars?

I saw a video recently of an Italian family that has been growing/making and canning tomato sauce for generations. I noticed that none of the jars they used were official canning jars. 

All the jars they used were reused with reused lids. They had a humungous pot of boiling water on a fire out in the yard, and just tossed the tomato sauce jars into it haphazardly for processing. 

According to all official information, these people were definitely rogue canners.

We are told we should worry about botulism and breaking glass when using ordinary reused jars, but the grandma in the video had been using the same method for 40 years and was still around to share her tomato sauce with her grandkids.

I always hang on to glass jars, and they are very useful in many ways, but can they be used for canning? 

Is that Italian grandma crazy, or does she just like living dangerously?

Or are mason jar manufacturers overstating the importance of their expensive and now hard to get product?


Refrigerator Pickles: Jalapeños


- 4 or 5 medium/large jalapeño cut into disks
- white vinegar to fill jar half full
- water to top up jars
- optional ingredients include a pinch of salt, sugar, spices, or garlic.


Cut jalepenos, place in squeaky clean jars. Fill half way with vinegar. Top up with water, and add any optional ingredients.

Close jars, agitate gently for a minute or so. Set on kitchen counter for 24 hours. After that time, turn jars upside down for another 24 hours. Then put in fridge and enjoy. 

Good in fridge for up to 4 weeks. 

You may never buy pickled jalepenos from the store again. Unless you need a 250ml glass jar.

December 2, 2020

Rockin' The Lockdown

First off, let us say that we are very sorry about those negatively affected by the pandemic and resulting lockdowns. It sucks for a lot of people.

But let it also be known that billionaires are not the only ones that can benefit from what is going on right now. 

You know who has been rocking this lockdown thing? 

Linda. Because of that, I am doing pretty good, too.

For most of us October 2020 marked 8 months of various degrees of stay at home orders. For many it has been understandably difficult.

For Linda, October 2020 marked a full 12 months since she has been away from home, and she has no immediate plans to leave for any reason other than a toothache or medical emergency. 

In addition, she has been in a permanent lockdown in her wheelchair since about 2008.

More recently, she has become locked down in her own body. 

How can she be one of the happiest, most content people I know? How can she handle her multiple lockdowns better than someone losing it when they can't go shopping for a while?

It reminds me of seeing a meme after a major blackout showing a group of Amish men with the words, "Sorry about your electric... lol."

Linda, like so many others in a situation similar to hers, could say something similar.

"Sorry about your lockdown... lol."

It's kind of funny, kind of harsh, and kind of true. 

Learning from adversity is the key to being adaptable enough to turn any situation to your advantage. 

First you must recognize them as opportunities, not obstacles. 

That is how Linda is rockin' this lockdown, that lockdown, and all the lockdowns. 

She handles being locked down with equanimity and grace, joy even, because she has chosen to find the good in what remains.

It is inspiring to be with someone that is living proof that there does not need to be anything lacking in a tiny, beautiful, local, hearth-centred life. 

Indeed, millions of happy, content, simple living people around the world will attest to this very fact. 


Because it is enough. 

We both hope that you are rocking the lockdown, learning a lot about yourself and the world, and are committed to moving forward as a better, happier person.

November 29, 2020

The End of Black Friday Madness

2020 will go down as a year which ushered in many changes. One of those will be the end of experiencing Black Friday by being crushed at a building entrance by an excited mob of hyped up consumers in a madness of advertising-fueled desire and longing.

Retailers have been pushing consumers online almost since the internet was born. It is the endgame at the end of a long trend.

For a long time now they have dreamt of a time in the shiny antiseptic future where commerce could be conducted without having to interface with real, messy people.

They don't like you, just your money.

Today the only way a customer can be right is by shopping madly from home. Our digital devices have become portals to infinite shopping.

Everything is conducted in a digital environment controlled by ones, zeros, and algorithms. Meeting in physical space is so yesterday since now they want everyone to stay home, pandemic or not.

It is just less messy that way.

Soon, all the owners will have to see are more dollars in their bank accounts, not our sorry asses tainting their brick and mortar locations with unpredictable and unwanted things like expectations and emotions.

But at least you won't run the risk of ending up at the bottom of a pile of swarming bargin seekers. 

But you could still end up at the bottom of a pile of crushing debt.

The next step is saving money by quitting shopping for needless things altogether.

Like us, they do not support consumerism in any form, whether in person, or online.

We all look forward to the end of the consumer life, because the less you consume, the more you live.

November 26, 2020

The Great Gastsby - The American Nightmare

I have never read The Great American Novel, The Great Gatsby. However, after seeing the 2013 film version, the book has moved up my list.

What I didn't realize, is that the novel is a cautionary tale, not just a celebration of The Jazz Age. 

The author, F. Scott Fitzgerald, had spent time with the wealthy of 1920s New York City. What he witnessed became the basis for his novel, and it is not a glowing endorsement.

Like his first novel, This Side of Paradise, The Great Gatsby was about love and greed, including the love of greed, and someone who was greedy for a love lost.

Both novels made the author one of the great observers of the culture of wealth, extravagance and ambition that was born during the Roaring 20s, the last time income inequality was as great as it would be again 100 years later (humanity = slow learners). 

Rather than celebrate the riches, Fitzgerald warned his readers of the dangers of consumerism and materialism. He saw how The American Dream rapidly morphs into The American Nightmare.

One film critic said of the film version I watched:

"For all the gimmicks, flamboyant celebrations, and intrusive flourishes, it is loud and boisterous, but ultimately empty. 
Gazing at the spectacle, you can't help but think it will eventually all add up to something, but it never does."

That seems accurate for the most part in my experience. However, it describes more than the film. It also describes the world depicted in the film.

The job of desiring more stuff never ends, and is ultimately empty. 

You hope all that stuff will eventually add up to something, but it never does. 

The Great Gatsby highlights how a person can have every material possession, and still be unhappy. 

Ultimately it shows us that time and love are the most precious commodities in this life, and no amount of money will buy either one.

On a separate note, The Great Gatsby will go into the public domain as its copyright ends on January 1, 2021.


November 23, 2020

The Extinction of Experience

Civilization may be old, but the word itself has not gathered as much dust of time.

Adam Ferguson, in his 1767 Essay on the History of Civil Society, is the first to use the English word 'civilization'. 

In his essay he wrote, 

"Not only the individual advances from infancy to adulthood, but the species itself from rudeness to civilization." 

Civilization has been happening, but the rudeness doesn't seem to have diminished. 

One of the rudest things to have happened to what we call civilized peoples is our loss of connection to the natural world.

A lack of connection to Nature is not natural. Break that connection and you break everything.

Civilization, by definition, not only separates us from the natural world, but aims to dominate it, bending it to humanity's will. 

That, along with social stratification, as well as culturally programmed narratives of progress and supremacism, and my favourite, a ruling elite to boss everyone around, is what has made civilization great since it blew into the wilderness in the first Agricultural Revolution.

Since then we have been seeing the extinction of experience, a phrase coined decades ago, to describe our species growing disconnect from its relationship with the natural world. 

“As cities and metastasizing suburbs forsake their natural diversity, and their citizens grow more removed from personal contact with nature, awareness and appreciation retreat. 

This breeds apathy toward environmental concerns and, inevitably, further degradation of the common habitat. 

So it goes, on and on, the extinction of experience sucking the life from the land, the intimacy from our connections. 

People who don’t know don’t care. 

What is the extinction of the condor to a child who has never known a wren?”

- Robert Pyle

This broken trust has had lasting negative effects on both the Earth, and on humanity. If left unchecked, the condition will be fatal for both.

The human family badly needs a new model. It will look a lot like the old model, when humans still lived intimately with Nature in a mutually beneficial relationship. 

The first step is exposing one's self to natural environments as much as possible, whether in the yard, the park, the garden, or the wilderness. 

Photographs, videos, and windows that look out on a natural landscapes, can all help the brain receive many of the benefits of physically being in nature.

We ARE nature and we need to experience it at regular intervals, and redevelop that relationship, if we are to maintain the health of our species.

Otherwise the extinction of experience will be the extinction of our race.

November 19, 2020


I am not a fan of the acronym "KISS", which we all know stands for "Keep It Simple Stupid". 

It is probably because I am as against insults as I am for simplicity. 

But the message is good. 

Life is complicated already, so why make it more complicated than it needs to be? We should always remember to keep things as simple as we can. 

Case in point is my experience with can openers. 

For years we used a Swiss Army knife to open cans. There is no more simple way to open a can that I am aware of, except maybe hitting it with a boulder. But that would be messy.

One day, someone took pity on us, and gifted us a "proper" can opener.

The new can opener was heavy, sturdy, and shiny. It felt good in the hand, and it opened cans in a hurry. It was very convenient. It was "better" in every way.

Until it stopped working.

Not that the can opener was that complicated, but compared to the  can opener attachment of the knife, it was. It had vulnerable moving parts, which meant more to go wrong.

I tried fixing it, but failed. I tried again. And failed again.

I set the opener aside, unsure of what to do with it. Metal recycling? Melt it down and make a hammer, or an anchor? 

Or how about a Dadaist art piece from the kitchen rather than the bathroom? Duchamp would approve.

Now we are back to using the same Swiss Army knife that we opened cans with before Big Can Opener came into our lives. It works just fine, and will continue to do so indefinitely.

The Can Opener Incident was a good reminder to KISS, if I liked to use that acronym. 

Alternatively, I can be reminded to "SSSS", which is not as catchy to say (unless you are a ssssnake), but is just as effective in practice, and without the insultment.

"Simplify, Simplify, Simplify, Simplify."

This is always good advise when it comes to can openers... and everything else.


November 16, 2020

Homegrown Stevia

Stevia is a herb that we grew this year for the first time. Imagine our surprise when we saw it advertised at our local greenhouse last spring. This sugar substitute is native to South America. 

Ours probably would have done better without the drought we had this summer, but we were still able to harvest a good amount of leaves despite it wilting a couple of times.

After harvest we dried the plant in the garage, a couple of weeks was still not enough to dry it for crushing. We do not have a dehydrator, so put it in a low oven for a few brief minutes.

That did the trick. 

I put the crispy leaves into our mortar and crushed them to a fine, green powder, just like the kind we have bought in the past.

There seems to be some question regarding the healthfulness of the highly processed white stevia powder that is more commonly found in stores. 

Many of those also have questionable additives, and the white stevia stuff is very expensive. 

We stopped buying it. 

We like the green kind that is not processed beyond drying and crushing. 100% pure leaf, and still many times sweeter than sugar. 

We have also bought it in the past, but it is still pretty expensive, and we would much rather grow it ourselves if we can.

And we can, as it turns out.

We will start the winter with enough homegrown stevia powder to replace several cups of sugar in things like our chia tea, cornbread, and other baked goods. 

It could also be sprinkled on a bowl of oats. I wonder if we could grow those, too?

Maybe next year's garden, which was formally started when we planted our garlic last weekend.

Oats, or no oats, we will definitely be growing stevia again.

November 13, 2020

World Kindness Day

When we respond to the world with loving kindness it is a radical act, a rebellious choice to be gentle. 

Loving kindness forgives.

Loving kindness apologizes, says, "I was wrong. I'm sorry".

Loving kindness cares for Nature.

Loving kindness is compassionate and cooperative.

Loving kindness promotes peace and healing.

Loving kindness responds to all living beings with warmth, empathy and respect.

Loving kindness is active listening.

Loving kindness is patient, caring, and understanding. 

Loving kindness is open-hearted, non-reactive, and non-judgemental.

Loving kindness is self care.

Loving kindness is a regular schedule of sitting down quietly for a time by yourself.

Loving kindness transforms fear and hopelessness into fearlessness and joy.

Happy World Kindness Day.

"May you be filled with loving kindness.

May you be well.

May you be peaceful and at ease.

May you be happy."

November 9, 2020

We Survived The Storm

“And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, whether the storm is really over. 
But one thing is certain. When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. 
That’s what this storm’s all about.” 

Haruki Murakami

We made it. The storm is over, and we survived (or at least, most of us did).

Now, another storm is on the horizon. 

Be assured that when that storm hits, we will not be the same people we were the last time. 

We will be stronger. We will be better prepared. We will know the benefits of working through adversity, and we will know that history is slowly bending in our direction.

When the next storm hits, and it is currently fomenting, frothing, and flying towards us, we will be more loving and cooperative in our efforts to build the better world we all know is possible.

Eventually, we will be the storm that washes away all that ails our planet. 

Like after a fresh, cleansing rain, all will be revitalized.

We survived the storm. 

Now we rest, and prepare for the next entirely predictable conflagration, ready to face its wrath as new and improved agents of change. 


November 6, 2020

Less Shopping, More Navel Gazing

In a consumer world the good stuff is always "out there", always somewhere other than where you are. 

Society focuses more on external things, so it can be difficult to turn your attention to the beauties of a home life, or the benefits of tuning in to your own mind.

Conversely, anything that makes it easier for you to "get out there" is encouraged, regardless of its impact. 

The only thing that matters is that you get out of the house to where all the good stuff is happening, then spend freely once you get there.

Just like the good stuff is always outside of your home, it is also outside of your head. 

Even if we stay home, they pipe in endless entertainments to make sure our minds are preoccupied. 

Being in your head is NOT recommended, and often ridiculed to make sure you don't try it for yourself, regardless of the liberation that is sure to result if you stick with it long enough.

The pressure is to keep us busy buying, while downplaying the beauty and satisfaction of a rich home and inner life not centred around expensive extrinsic rewards.

Intrinsic rewards abound in living a local life of simplicity and quiet contemplation. 

They include:

 experiencing the joy of learning
  •  letting your creativity flow
  •  satisfaction of overcoming challenges
  •  a sense of connection to other people/the world
  •  identifying with a meaningful purpose
  •  increased confidence
With each passing day it becomes more obvious - the world needs way less going out and shopping, and way more staying in and navel gazing.


November 4, 2020

Hysterical Strength, And A Good Scream

Hysterical strength - it's a thing, and we are going to need some moving forward. A good group scream would help, too.

Hysterical strength is the "mom lifts car off baby effect", but it applies to anyone that needs to draw up a moment of serious strength to complete a task. 

Chances are, when calling upon this reservoir of unbounded strength, one would also use a vocalization, a scream, to get the job done. 

Cars are heavy, after all.

Sometimes when I am transferring with Linda I have to muster a brief moment of extraordinary strength to get the job done, even though she is not nearly as heavy as a car.

Every once in a while I scream. Sometimes I scream a swear.

You could call it hysterical, I guess. But I look at the results - so far every transfer we have done together has been successful. 

No one has gotten hurt, and no one has ended up on the floor. Or stuck on the toilet.

Linda asked me about my choice of word that I call on to muster my super powers. It was time to experiment with some new ones.

I tried screaming "love". 

It didn't work. 

I tried "fart", a four letter word closer to the one I usually use. 

It didn't work, either. It has to be the right four letters, because words are magic.

This all made me think about the martial arts scream known as Kiai, or "breath". The short, sharp scream is for "compressing and delivering an instant release of stored energy."

The Kiai is also good to let out your anger, if you have any. A good scream releases negative toxins from your soul, as well as gets work done.

I do not know the results of the US election as I write this, but I don't think it matters much. 

Either way, we are going to have to push our elected governments to listen to the electorate. We will still have to be in the streets, will still have to struggle to create a world that works for everybody everywhere.

This task is huge and ongoing, and we will have to muster up a good dose of hysterical strength to lift the weight of 6000 years of oppression off of us.

It is good to know that when under duress we can tap in to a special strength powered by love and courage, and perform heroic feats.

A good scream can't hurt, either, in order to focus our energy on the goal, and tap into our storehouse of power.


October 31, 2020

Storing Garden Carrots In Fresh Moss

Cold weather is coming. We harvested all our carrots today, so have been looking for a long term carrot storage method.

Formerly we have kept garden carrots in the fridge, which worked well. This year we had more carrots than fridge space, so had to try something else.

The easiest method is leaving carrots in the ground with mulch on top. We have done that before because I am inherently lazy.

However, going outside midwinter to dig carrots can be bracing, so this year we opted for storing them in our unheated garage in a bin. 

We don't have sand on hand, and did not want to buy any. Same with other materials we have seen recommended like potting soil or peat moss. 

Then we read about using fresh forest moss for packing carrots for winter storage. 

Moss is something we have in abundance in our back yard, and pretty much everywhere else around here. Our humid maritime climate means that the Acadian forest often has large, rich, thick matts of green, green moss on the forest floor.

First, we researched (we do a lot of research in this house) how to properly harvest wild forest moss, having never done it before.

We learned that moss is a terribly fascinating and delicate life form. It has no roots - the leaves absorb moisture directly from the air.

Most importantly, mosses are very slow growing. Once harvested, they can take anywhere from 5 to 20 years to grow back to their former green glory.

If too much is taken, or taken in the wrong way, it may never grow back. 

I went to the woods and approached the moss carefully, respectfully, and gratefully. After thanking the forest for its bounty, I filled a bag with chunks of deep, puffy, fresh moss. 

I harvested this precious resource by taking smaller pieces over a large area instead of a big piece from one area.

It was a beautiful moment with my hands in the richness of the moss matts. The smell was a clean smelling mix of the freshness of the green parts mixed with the decay of the lowest brown layer. 

I made an offering, and headed home to my carrots.

Supervised by the ever watchful Linda, I took a bin and started with a layer of moss at the bottom. Then we placed a layer of carrots down on this moist, comfy bed. 

Then moss, then carrots. We repeated this until all the carrots were in the bin. 

The last layer was moss, then a plastic bag went on top of that to allow the bin to breathe. Done.

We had the perfect amount of moss, which was great because I did not want to harvest any more than we required.

It is the first time we have tried this method. It will be nicer to be able to go to the garage and take carrots from the moss bin, rather than liberating them from cold soil in the middle of winter. 

Once again we didn't have to buy anything, although I see that one can buy a box of fresh sheet moss online for about $70.00. 

Wow. The moss in our bin may be more valuable than the carrots nestled among it.

Moss is so in demand that poaching is a problem in some areas. 

We will report on our experiment as we (and our carrots) slide into winter. I hear it's coming... again. 

What is your favourite long term storage method for carrots?

To learn about forest moss, and about sustainably harvesting it, see here.