A page from an Irish-English dictionary.
Irish-English dictionary. Photo by author.

Like many Irish Americans, my mother knew Éirinn go Brách is Irish for Ireland Forever, and Céad Míle Fáilte means One Hundred Thousand Welcomes. She knew uisce means water and is the origin of the word whiskey. And mo chroí means my heart. She would not have said the provocative…

One of the gardens at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Photo by author.

I was fortunate to have apprenticed full-time for six months on the farm of the University of Santa Cruz California learning the concepts and practices of sustainable gardening and small-scale farming.

The Apprenticeship in Ecological Horticulture, under the auspice of the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, is the…

A child and her chickens. Photo by author.

Dogs are great. They make good companions. They’re entertaining. They’ve got those expressive puppy eyes. And they are instigators for their human companions to get regular exercise by taking them for walks. But dogs come at a cost.

Dogs come at a substantial cost to the natural environment. Most people…

View from my greywater laundry. Photo by Judith Moran

I live in a city in the American West which is semi-arid and prone to drought. Water is our most precious resource. Wanting to conserve water, for the last seven years, I’ve used laundry greywater to irrigate trees in my backyard.

By definition, greywater is lightly used water going down…

Old woman wearing a shawl, sitting in a wheelchair in a garden in Ireland, 1953.
My mother’s maternal grandmother, Belinda Maloney Kilcullen, at age 83, in her garden in Sligo, Ireland, 1952. Photo courtesy of the Kilcullen family.

When my mother, Marilyn Sullivan Moran, died unexpectedly at the age of 70, and I was still in my 20s, a Scottish friend of hers told me that “ the mantle has passed.” Was she telling me that now I was fully an adult having lost a parent? …

Judith Moran

Living as lightly as possible on this beautiful earth. Writing about climate action, gardening, and Ireland. Top writer in Sustainability.

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