This Issue's New Pathways to Better Times

Community (whole systems)

Cooking and Eating

Crafting and Making

Disaster Response


Forest Gardening




Sewing and Fabric Arts

Preserving and Processing

Simple Living


Garbage and Waste



Food Security

Email Discussion Groups

Oklahoma Food

Family Farm Agriculture

Commercial sites




Better Times Cookbook | Justpeace | Better Times | |Access to Energy Conservation | On Pilgrimage in Oklahoma City

For information about our plans for adapting our"urban homestead" to meet the looming challenges of peak oil, climate instability, and economic irrationality, see Gatewood Urban Homestead, the permaculture design for our home.

169 new links, published to the internet May 28, 2002.

Energy and housing links and information are found at



Eco business directory site of 2,000 green business links.

In Business , the magazine for sustainable businesses and communities, "where sustainable goals and small business team up." Can order a free copy online, has online tables of contents, and some of the articles are available for free on line. The makings of a renewable energy revolution.



Global Environment Outlook 3 , from the United Nations Environment Program. Sure to be controversial, this "Geo 3" report gives the latest snapshot of how the big picture looks for planet Earth, and the news is not good. You can buy the book here, or read a lot of it online via adobe acrobat files. Earthscan UK , British site selling the UK edition, also has access to the online version (in case the UNEP site is down, which is often)..

International Society for Ecological Economics , website of academic society, has info about research, publications, and conferences in the field.

Flying , page where you can calculate the environmental cost of your airplane trip.

Jetstream Analyses and Forecasts , world maps of high altitude winds. Find out where the fallout will go from a nuclear war anywhere on earth. Hint: fallout from explosions in India and Pakistan will go over China, Japan, and the US.

Choose Climate , interactive site where you can see the consequences of environmental choices.

The Great Climate Flip Flop , from Atlantic Monthly. Global warming? Global cooling? The evidence is mounting that the earth's climate is characterized by abrupt changes. Personally, I think the situation is much more complicated than either the global warmers or the anti global warmers would like for us to believe.


Preserving and Processing

Syrup Makers , access to major information on making syrup from sorghum and from sugar cane.


Cooking and Eating

Frozen Assets , cook for a day, eat for a month, homesite of the busy Frozen Assets (2000+ members) discussion group devoted to planning menus, having one or more "cook days" during a month when a lot of food is cooked and then frozen for quick eating later.

Food Network , 20,000 recipes, tips, cooking 101. Lots of info here.

All About Pressure Cookers , here's the basic info. From the Fabulous Foods Online Cooking School

Wild Food , great site on foraging.

Home Grown Food , a local food guide centered on Boone, North Carolina.

Foraging , big list of links regarding eating and finding wild foods, recipes, harvesting, making wild wines, etc.

Edible Plants , "dining on the wild." Has a survival tip and plant of the month.

Dandelion Recipes , from my good online friend, Pat Veretto, the guide to Frugal Living. It's got recipes for dandelions, plus additional links to other dandelion info.

Dandelion Wine 2 recipes for dandelion wine.

Old Dutch Recipes , from a 1937 cookbook published by a church group in Iowa.



Evangelical Poverty and the Healing of Nations , essay by your Bettertimes webservant on the connection between world peace and the way we live.

Food, Faith, Sustainability , online intro to a resource available which consists of essays by authors such as Wendell Berry, five session curriculum for small groups, a healthy shopper's resource guide, and info on community and congregational supported agriculture. From Earth Ministry.

Earth Ministry , faith based (non Catholic) organization helping believers connect their spirituality with the natural world, creation, and environmental stewardship. Extensive church activity resources.

Rural Life Manifesto , 1939 document of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference.

Catholic Blessings , for farms and rural activities, from the National Catholic Rural Life Conference

Rural Life Prayerbook , from the National Catholic Rural Life Conference, a large archive of prayers.

Pope Pius XII on rural life , 1946 speech to an Italian association of farmers.

For this we stand , speech at the 1946 meeting of the National Catholic Rural Conference.

Standing on both feet: the rural homestead, a necessity , Late 1940s publication of the National Catholic Rural Conference.

Partnership with God , speech to farmers by the Bishop of Fargo at the 1941 Eucharistic Congress.

Center for Rural Church Leadership , ecumenical resource for clergy and laity of rural churches.



Mother's Home , a site with interesting info, craft ideas, instructions,etc., for mothers with kids at home. See Home Made Supplies , with recipes for play dough, goop, clay, paste, finger paints, etc.

Family Crafts , with the usual thoroughness, info and links on stuff families can make together. Bead projects, painting, decopage, dioramas, you name it, it's here.

Speaking of Education , transcript of a speech at a National Catholic Rural Conference meeting, 1946.

7 keys to a Christian Home , early publication of the National Catholic Rural Conference.



No till, mulch based market gardening , excellent page describing the progress of this farm towards no till gardening. Practical info.

Native Seeds , non profit organization preserving the seeds of varieties of plants traditionally used by Native Americans. "Ancient seeds for modern needs."

No till gardening , soil in nature is layered, and has tilth, or a good crumb structure that is created by the movement of worms and plant roots through the soil. Tilling destroys this, harms the soil bacteria, kills earthworms and destroys their eggs, and is not found in nature. Disturbing the soil also attracts weeds and enables erosion. All of our gardens are now no till.

Grape Seek , online portal to grape growing. Discussion groups, articles, pictures, books for sale, "Grape Growers Notebook", in particular see organic grape growing. Lots of useful information at this site.

Natural Perspective , online directory of plant images and descriptions, organized by scientific taxonomy (species/families, etc.)

Organic Research , online community for organic farmers, research, discussion, organic farm locator.

Plant Database , a compilation of gardener's wisdom on 2500+ plants, has 2900+ plant photos.

Grain Amaranth , from Rodale Research Center, academic paper on amaranth grown for grain.

Herb, Medicinal Plant, Wild Flower pictures and info on medicinal uses. Special focus on the wild herbs of Tennessee.

Worm Farms , list of commercial suppliers of compost worms.

The Chicken , from the Yale program of Agrarian Studies, online access to "all things chicken", plus a conference on the "biological, social, cultural and industrial history of the chicken from neolithic middens to mcnuggets."

Growing sorghum in Oklahoma for syrup , from OK State, basic info on cultivation and seed sources.

Sorghum for Syrup , from the University of Wisconsin, basic cultivation details. A page from the Alternative Field Crops Manual , with details of more than 40 crops, ranging from lentils to sunflowers and most points between. , commercial site offering everything that a container gardener needs, good place to get ideas, also has free resources, Ask the Experts .

Gardening without irrigation (Or not much anyway), online text of the complete book.

Resource Center on Urban Agriculture and Forestry , policy, links, full on line text of several useful publications.

Planting a Three Sisters Garden , from Native American Technology and Art.

Learning from Ancestors , another article about Three Sisters gardening.


Forest Gardening

Forest Edge Garden Project , describes our Oklahoma City "forest edge garden" activities, we presently have 105 different varieties of edible or useful plants on our property. Garden Diary , weekly entries chronicling our garden activities.

How to landscape with edible plants. Nice article describing the basic elements and suggesting some practical and beautiful possibilities.

Djanbung Gardens , five acre permaculture demonstration site in Australia.

Bob Ewing, Permaculture Designer , sustainable solutions for your balcony, backyard, and neighborhood. Offers an online course in permaculture design, and an ezine, Small Moves.

Nitrogen Fixing Trees , basic info and a list.

Forest Garden Guilds , a basic explanation of the concept of guilds, which are to forest gardening what companion planting is to annual vegetable crops.

Apple Guild , an example, showing how mutually beneficial plants can be grouped together.

Permaculture techniques for food cultivation , basic list of permaculture concepts and elements, illustrated with photographs.

Constructing the Food Forest Orchard , basic methods and considerations, some examples of plant associations.

Principles of Permaculture : zones, energy cycling, diversity, optimize edge, patterns, multiple elements, natural succession, relative location, multiple functions, sectors, biological resources, elevational planning.

Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute , workshops and info in Colorado, has an online "tour" with text and pictures of their forest garden, located at 7,000 feet above sea level, and are among the most mature such plantings in North America. A person can spend a lot of time here and learn lots of info about developing a forest garden, just by looking at the pictures. High quality text too.


Community (whole systems)

Distributism and Catholic Social Teaching , a collection of articles by my good friend John Medaille of Dallas, Texas, regarding distributism and the practical application of the Church's social teachings to economic issues.

Thoughts in the Presence of Fear , Wendell Berry's post Sept 11th essay that has been reprinted in 76 countries. This is his call to a "peaceable economy."

The Idea of a Local Economy , by Wendell Berry, in depth critique of globalization and consumerism.

Turn the Tide , a program from the Center for the New American Dream, inviting people to make nine changes in their lives that contribute to a better environment. The Nine Actions .

Asian Rural Institute , in Japan, ARI invites about 20 to 30 rural grassroots leaders from Asian and African developing countries every year, and trains them as rural leaders for 9 months at the ARI campus in Nishinasuno, Tochigi prefecture. On campus, participants, staff and volunteers live together and work together aiming towards self-sufficiency based on organic farming and forming just and peaceful community.

Food and Agriculture Resources , from the Center for the New American Dream.

Village Earth , a consortium for village based development. Offers an extensive of 1,050 of the best books on village level and do it yourself technologies, available on CD Rom or microfiche, 150,000 pages of text. Has online searchable access to the Appropriate Technology Sourcebook, which reviews the 1050 books in the AT Library.

Department of Rural Sociology , University of Missouri at Columbia. There be heroes of the revolution here doing important work on rural issues, consolidation in the food industry, local food networks, and etc.

Family Homesteading Advocate , info and support for all aspects of family homesteading. Also offers some products for sale.

Agrarian Studies , at Yale. Who woulda thought that Yale would have an agrarian studies program. Interdisciplinary.

Pulling Apart , a state by state study details how the gap between the wealthy and the rest of us has widened over the last 20 years. Links is to a report summary and has access to the full report.

The Prejudice Against Country People , from the April 2002 Progressive, by Wendell Berry.

The Home Place , a sustainable living demonstration center

World Grain Update , World grain harvest this year will fall 54 million tons short of annual consumption. The balance will be made up by drawing on stocks of grain carried over from previous years. This year's harvest is projected at 1,841 million tons, with consumption estimated at 1,895 million tons. Last year's shortfall was 34 million tons. The world's reserve stocks of grain are at their lowest levels in 20 years - amounting to only 22% of annual consumption.

Oklahoma Sustainability Network , online access to a growing group of Oklahomans who are finding and publicizing sustainable alternatives. Don't miss its first ever statewide conference, May 10, 2002, at the OSU OKC campus on North Portland.

Oklahoma Use Less Stuff Campaign , from the Oklahoma Dept. of Environmental Quality, excellent online access to downloadable materials.

Cherokee Heritage Center , preserving and promoting Cherokee history and culture.


Crafting and Making

Make Stuff , great place to go for easy instructions for making many different things. LOTS of stuff here. Also annoying banner ads, but oh well.

Soap making threads , from the Countryside discussion forum.

Native Tech , online information sources regarding the technology and art of Native Americans.Weaving, cordage, painting, pottery, games, foods, plants, beads, featherwork, tools.

Home made dish soap , 2 recipes, plus suggestions for "extra strength".

Home Depot Project Index , I know, it's a big box store, but their website has lots of practical information on home improvement projects. "Fix it, build it, install it, grow it."

Useful Crafts , Useful crafts -- basic info for knitting, weaving, hooking rugs, crocheting, soap making, candlemaking, rug making, cross stitch. From one of my more favorite frugal places on the web, Pat Veretto's Frugal Living page at

Root Cellar Resources: Root cellar homepage at Walton Feed; Springhouses, ice houses, root cellars; >From a county extension garden organization; , storage rooms; Root cellars; >From Maryland Extension,

Missouri Alternatives Center , several troves of interesting information.



The Budget Decorator , very nice site with lots of free high quality info. Offers an online six week cyber learning experience in budget decorating, with personal instruction via email, for $15 tuition. Every month a new free project is posted, they are archived on the site. This month's free project is "exterior decorating on a budget." Has kids' pages. The webcrafter of this site must be a very interesting woman.

Miserly Moms , website of Jonni McCory, author of "Miserly Moms: Living on one income in a two income economy." Site promotes book, but also has lots of high quality, free resources: recipes, tips, budget calculators , home schooling.

Budget Calculator , go through four steps that identify your expenses and income, and then it automatically calculates your household budget.

Online Budget Guide , from a Christian website, enter your annual income, your taxes, and your tithe, then it gives you a sample budget fitting all the typical household expenditures into your after tax/after tithe income. Has other budget/economic calculators, including a mortgage prepayment calculator that shows you how much money you can save by paying off your mortgage OR student loan faster than required by making extra principle payments with each monthly payment.

What's it worth to reduce my spending? Calculate the financial effect of reducing various categories of your personal expenditures.

The Budget Book , why you need a household budget and how to prepare one.

Frugal and Single , Frugal and single -- how to save money even though you're single, another great article by Pat Veretto, frugalista extraordinaire.a



Rainwater Harvesting , from Texas, an article about harvesting and using your rainwater.

Weights and Measures Conversion Factors , how to convert acres to hectares, BTUs to kilowatts, etc.

Wilderness Living , couldn't quite decide which category this site should be in so it landed here. Lots of info and links about low tech wilderness living, including foraging, medicinal plants, etc.

Grasshopper management , without using pesticides, from the Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas supersite of practical information.


Sewing and Fabric Arts

Sewing , from, withits typical thoroughness, lots of info and articles, such as Sewing for Charity .


Simple Living

Flight from the City , an experiment in creative living on the land, complete online text of the 1933 book by a man who left the city for a small homestead in the 1920s. "His books served as guideposts for many anguished wage-slaves who saw his book as a guiding light toward financial security, even survival, during the Great Depression. More, Ralph Borsodi was an amazingly intelligent social critic whose view cut through to the very heart of the contradictions and problems of industrial civilization."

Full of Grace newsletter , Full of Grace newsletter, published by Kevin and Carla Christensen, who are living simply and sustainably on a homestead in Dupuyer, Montana. It is very nice. Recipes and sample articles and other pictures are online. It is "a simple living newsletter with a Catholic
perspective". It is written directly to Catholics, but followers of other faiths (or none) will enjoy the recipes and practical articles.

Garbage and Waste

Biocycle , published since 1960, this magazine is devoted to news and info about recycling trash into usable products. Four years of issues have a table of contents available, and in each issue some articles can be read online.

National Onsite Water Recycling Association , professional organization of folks interested in onsite waste water recycling. Has info on managing a septic tank, links, newsletter.

Eco Demolition , from Middlebury, Vermont, a study in how to deconstruct a building a recycle all of the debris.

Enviro Care , commercial site, says it is one stop shopping for recycling, composting, and conservation programs and products. Offers some free informational resources. You can sometimes learn a lot by reading catalogs. Has free clip art , relating to conservation, recycling, and composting.

Master Composter , lots and lots of information, plus access to local "Master Composter" programs. Reproducible handouts on composting and worm composting.

Compost Resource Page , all kinds of info about composting, including Compost Poetry!

The Humanure Handbook , complete online text of the definitive handbook on composting human manure.
Humanure , Another approach to the humanure issue, being implemented by a British charity in Africa.

Compost Science , a quarterly peer reviewed journal focusing on management techniques to improve large scale compost systems, with an emphasis on using composted materials.


Email Listservs

Grape Breeders , Archives

Seed Savers , all aspects of saving seeds, Archives

Cherokee Small Farming , sharing small farm information with Cherokees and others.

Permaculture , Archives , Old Archives

Market Farming , small to large scale, organic, sustainable, transitional & conventional. 2002 Archives , Old Archives

Free Range Poultry , discussion group for small farmers.

Wild Edibles , yahoo group. Discussions concerning wild edible plants, animals, mushrooms; including identification, recipes, folklore, etc.

New Okie Pioneers , homesteading, back to the land, in north Texas and Oklahoma.


Family Farm Agriculture

Winter Wheat in Northern Europe According to the Fukuoka-Bonfils Method , which is to say no till, all organic. Instead of planting 350 wheat plants per square meter, which is a common commercial agriculture spacing, this method sows 3 or 4 plants per square meter. Conventional wheat will have 1 to 3 ears of kernals per plant, this spacing produces 100 to 150, and they have 2 to 3 times the commecial kernals per ear. This is sown into a carpet of perennial clover.

The Fukuoka Bonfils Method for growing winter wheat, adobe acrobat file. This report, which is about growing wheat via this method in France, reports yields of 6 tons of wheat per acre, or 200 bushels per acre, without chemical fertilizers! (In Oklahoma, yields of 35 to 40 bushels per acre are common.) Wheat is planted in June for harvest the following summer; this is muchearlier than is typical in the US for winter wheat.

Small Farmers' Journal , serving small family farmers and craftmanship in agriculture, has online articles, faqs. Directions for the farm culture of fruits and vegetables , market gardening ideas from a 1902 publication, "How the Farm Pays."

Capitalist pigs: the wealth of nations and the wealth of farmers , by John Medaille, examines the manipulation of pork prices by "hog factories" that drive real farmers out of business without any benefit to the public and with much subsidy from the public purse.

Free Range Poultry , online basics plus discussion group.
Resilience Magazine , published by a non profit organization active in the areas of agriculture, appropriate technology, human nutrition and Native American Ways of living in harmony with all creation. They research and develop systems and share this information with others through workshops, tours, field days, demonstrations and written materials. Back 40 Books nice selection of books in an online store about small farm issues and resources.

Southern Region , Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education program, includes Oklahoma info plus general info about sustainable agriculture.

Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture , Poteau, working farm, research, demonstration projects, on-line information. On-line library and links.

Overstreet Kerr Historical Farm , showing casing late 19th and early 20th century farm life and technology. Preserves heirloom livestock and plants. Near Keota.

Commercial Sites

Eco Mall , a place to help save the earth while you spend your money. Online directory of green businesses and products.


Disaster Response

Nuclear War Survival Skills , I know, it seems like an oxymoron, but with India and Pakistan rattling nuclear sabers, this classic text may come in handy. Has details, plans, and construction sequences for improvised fallout shelter, a fallout meter (which you can make from stuff you find in your home), and improvised ventilation systems. My advice is to print the entire book or buy it. Fallout from an all out nuclear war in south Asia between India and Pakistan will blanket the continental United States, and depending on how long it takes for the fallout to get here, this could mean lethal levels of radioactivity.

US Disaster Preparedness Institute , "practical preparation for reasonable risks," lots of links, plus FAQS and info about various terrorist risks.

Swiss Civil Protection , official Swiss government website regarding what we in the US would call "civil defense".

Food and Water Supplies , from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, suggesting for home scale disaster preparedness. "If an earthquake, hurricane, winter storm or other disaster ever strikes your community, you might not have access to food, water and electricity for days, or even weeks. By taking a little time now to store emergency food and water supplies, you can provide for your entire family."

Red Cross, Capital Area (Florida) , great source of on line disaster prep info, especially for hurricanes.

Food Security

The Food Trust , Philadelphia non profit improving the supply of affordable and nutritious food in the mid Atlantic region. They operate farmers' markets every week from June through November throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. Food demonstrations, nutrition education, and health screenings are available at their markets.

Oklahoma Food , the newest Better Times site, supporting the growing of a local food system in Oklahoma.

Food, Faith, Farming , nurturing relationships between farmers and eaters based on local food systems rooted in biblical values of authentic community, creation care and social justice. Active in ten counties in Pennsylvania and several other states.

Robert Waldrop