How can you create a home that brings sustained joy?

Photo by Kevin Miyazaki

Photo by Kevin Miyazaki

COMFORT & Design

Comfort depends on energy, water, place, materials, and beauty.  We can create style, comfort and well-being for ourselves, while having a positive impact on our environment and community. 

FOOD & HEALTH

Good food from farmers you know is the freshest, healthiest and best tasting food you'll find. It's really simple: great ingredients grown with love make great food for people we love. 

GARDEN & outdoors

Home gardens are vital to our own well-being. When gardens are rich with life and biodiversity, they thrive and provide one of the last refuges for plants and animals that were once common in the U.S.

Sustainability should have style, not become a style.
— Lance Hosey - The Shape of Green

Reclaiming Beautiful

 

Salvaged, reclaimed, recycled call it what you wish but don't call it junk. Imagination and inspiration can save some of the highest quality materials from ending up in landfills. Instead of clearing our remaining forests, quarries and mines, we can harvest or restore our crumbling buildings. You can't find this stuff in a big box store.

Sometimes you can upscale ugly.

 

 
Photo via Rustic Hardware Barn door made from salvage wood with custom U.S.-made barn door slide. 

Photo via Rustic Hardware

Barn door made from salvage wood with custom U.S.-made barn door slide. 

Design by Deluxe Design Studio / Photo by paper antler Contemporary design using reclaimed barn wood. Beautiful solution without using new wood from a clear-cut forest.

Design by Deluxe Design Studio / Photo by paper antler

Contemporary design using reclaimed barn wood. Beautiful solution without using new wood from a clear-cut forest.

Creating local food economies begins at home

 

 Local farmers, Community Supported Agricultural, farmers markets, restaurants and schools are leading the transformation to a healthy, fresh and localized food network.  At Argus Farm Stop in Ann Arbor, MI over 70 farms and producers are now selling their products  increasing the availability of locally grown produce to consumers in the Old West Side neighborhood.

 I believe that if there were a Farm Stop like Argus within 1/2 mile of every home in America, we could feed everyone with the most delicious, fresh, and healthy food available.  Most food would no longer need to be shipped from great distances. It could be grown with less energy and eliminate the need for chemicals and fertilizers that harm our water, soil and people. 

By shopping at places like Argus Farm Stop, consumers could buy directly from the producers. Plus we are forming a community around local food.  When we walk into Argus, we are likely to meet a farmer delivering goods, or another customer asking questions about the products in the market, or a staffer who can explain the growing practices of the farms. Most importantly, we're likely to see old friends and meet new ones. Every dollar stays in our community and contributes to our own health and well being.

 

 
Argus Farm Stop Ann Arbor
This is not your ordinary grocery. At Argus Farm, the people, farmers and food are all local. Here my daughter Jane plays with her friends Cora and Amelia. Living proof showing how local farm stops can build community and happiness.

This is not your ordinary grocery. At Argus Farm, the people, farmers and food are all local. Here my daughter Jane plays with her friends Cora and Amelia. Living proof showing how local farm stops can build community and happiness.

Spicy ají amarillo dipping sauce from Okie Dokie Artichokie. This is the happy sauce for the Peruvian style chicken. Get the recipe here.

Spicy ají amarillo dipping sauce from Okie Dokie Artichokie. This is the happy sauce for the Peruvian style chicken. Get the recipe here.

Peruvian-style chicken drumsticks + spicy aji amarillo dipping sauce. What could possibly make you happier than an abundance of good food prepared with love and passion. Check out the recipe over at my favorite food blog Okie Dokie Artichokie 

Tuesday enchiladas from Stephanie Russell. Get the full recipe at Okie Dokie Artichokie

Tuesday enchiladas from Stephanie Russell. Get the full recipe at Okie Dokie Artichokie

Beauty is a precondition to life. Yet beauty alone is insufficient.

 

Healing landscapes are essential to personal happiness. Yet beauty in the garden is not sufficient to sustained health for ourselves or the wildlife upon which we depend. 

If you want to create ecosystems with a diversity of animal species, we first have to encourage a healthy diversity of plants. It’s simple: By gardening with native plants — no matter where you live or how small or large your space is — you can help sustain wildlife.
— Douglas W. Tallamy, Bringing Nature Home


 

Drew Laithin, founder of Creative Sustainable Landscapes, welcomed countless numbers of new creatures to his garden after restoring it with plants native to his area.  Photos via Creating Sustainable Landscape. No bird feeder required. The landscaping provides free food and shelter. 

Nature holds the key to our aesthetic, intellectual, cognitive and even spiritual satisfaction.
- E. O. Wilson
Good read for healthy gardens that restore habitat and health. 

Good read for healthy gardens that restore habitat and health.