Humble Garden

ReSkilling for future food independence

Archive for February, 2010

Who is this Jean Pain guy?

Posted by Nika On February - 22 - 2010


[New permaculture page up – Compost Power – Jean Pain Method ]

I thought I would share a little about this guy Jean Pain who completely and most effectively hacked the DIY energy thing some time back! Obviously, the world has NOT been paying attention (as old timers know well).


In a nut shell, Pain was a forester in France who noticed the mighty thermal output of microbial action on composting materials. He proceeded to harness this heat by rigging large mounds of shredded brush (from his management of the forests) with an internal methane producing biomass bioreactor and heat capture coils built into the mound structure.

Click through to the page to learn more!


Click here to explore Jean Pain and his awesome work!

Grocery Gardening by Jean Ann Van Krevelen

Posted by Nika On February - 10 - 2010


[A winner was selected, congrats Genevieve! I wish I could send each of you a copy!]

I got to know the author of Grocery Gardening, Jean Ann Van Krevelen, a little bit via twitter (she is @jeanannvk). With a few 140 character strings and lots of other people also tweeting, she brought my awareness to this great book.

The premise of the book is to help people gain the knowledge they need to begin to grow their own food.

I think it takes a great viewpoint – approach people who want good food but who mainly know their food as things you buy at a store, not raise with your own two hands.

New gardeners can often feel overwhelmed. One might start gardening for the sake of securing safe wholesome food but very soon the truth emerges, gardening is not intention, it is action and observation and attention.

With this book, the entry level gardener can begin to make their segway gracefully from poking veggies in the store to growing their own.

The book is somewhat unusual in that there are several contributing authors who speak from experience: Jean Ann Van Krevelen, Amanda Thomsen, Robin Ripley, and Teresa O’Connor.

The photography is crisp and very inviting. The pages are packed with information on growing as well as recipes for using your bounty! The mixture of voices very much evokes the current trends in social media where one is bathed in a diverse community of knowledge, viewpoints, attitudes.


  • Gardening 101
  • Organic disease and pest management
  • Purchasing quality produce
  • Edibles
  • Herbs
  • Fruit
  • Vegetables
  • Preserving your harvest

I am happy to recommend this lovely book to anyone who is interested in learning more about growing their own food and also how to enjoy their harvest throughout the year!

Ok, here are the details on this contest:

  • Open to US residents only
  • Prize is my review copy of this delightful book
  • Enter by tweeting about this post and contest
  • Leave a comment with your tweet
  • You can enter a second time by blogging about this contest and then leaving a comment here with a link to the post
  • Contest runs from Feb 10, 2010 as of this post until next Wednesday Feb 2/17/2010, 5 pm EST
  • I will choose the winner with a random number generator

Suggested tweet that you can just cut and paste:
I entered 2 win a copy of “Grocery Gardening” by @jeanannvk at @nika7k ‘s site, here! You can enter 2 win too! RT Pls

Product Details:

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Cool Springs Press (February 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591864631
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591864639
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds

About Me

We are a family of 5, including Nika, Ed, Q (14), KD (7), and Baby Oh (4). We garden 1024 square feet of raised beds plus assorted permacultural plantings. We also have 13 LaMancha dairy goats, 40 chickens, and one guard llama.



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